How Does a Root Canal Work?

woman holds her jaw in pain with a root canal infection

Root Canal Therapy is a pain-relieving procedure performed by a dental professional to extract bacterial infection inside the tooth. If a decayed or broken tooth is left untreated, bacteria enters the root canal and infects the nerve, which can sometimes lead to tooth abscess. When the infection has seeped that deep into the tooth, it also means the blood supply in the root of the tooth has also been compromised. Oftentimes, there will be pain in the infected tooth, but it’s also common to not feel a thing, so it’s imperative to follow-up on your 6-month routine exams to make sure the dental issues that may be invisible to your eye, may be caught in time by your dentist.

What Happens During the Procedure?

During a root canal, a dentist will numb the gums and the tooth root with anesthesia, and then make a small incision for an access point in the tooth. The dentist will remove the inflamed pulp and tissues and clean the area with antibacterial and antiseptic solution. Once the area is disinfected, the dentist will fill the root canal with a filling before closing up the tooth. The patient may be prescribed oral antibiotics to kill off the rest of the infection. By the next appointment, the treated tooth should be back to a normal state and symptoms should have subsided. At this point, the dentist may go forward with a dental crown to fortify and stabilize the tooth depending on the level of damage. There’s a lot of biting pressure when we align our teeth together to chew, so a crown can help preserve the tooth long-term.

Something to Note

One thing to note is that because the nerve has been completely extracted, the patient won’t experience hot and cold sensitivity for that tooth. Particularly when you chew, it may feel a bit off in the beginning, since the treated tooth won’t feel the normal sensations as before.

Do You Need Root Canal Therapy?

If you’ve been told you need a root canal, it’s imperative to do so as soon as possible. Prolonging the wait time may result in loss of the tooth, which will likely be more painful to treat and cost more to restore down the line. A root infection is simple to treat and quite common. Jackson Smiles Family Dentistry offers an array of services including root canal treatment. Give us a call if you’d like to learn more about us or schedule an appointment.

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