There is a lot of misconception surrounding the pain and procedure of root canal therapy, also known as endodontic treatment. Although the procedure may not be pleasant, modern dentistry works to minimise pain and discomfort during appointments. At Kedron Family Dental, we’re here to give you the facts about root canals.
What Is a Root Canal?
People who need endodontic treatment have an infection in the soft dental pulp that lies within the hard layers of the tooth. These infections can be extremely painful and lead to the death of the tooth. To prevent this from happening, there are 4 sections to a root canal procedure.
- Removing decay, debris and infection
- Shaping the canals into smooth, hollow tunnels that are free of irregularities where bacteria can hide
- Filling the canals to prevent bacteria from re-infecting the area
- Making the tooth functional again with a large, well-sealed restoration (such as a crown)
Does a Root Canal Hurt?
Root canal infection is usually performed over 2 appointments that are made as comfortable as possible for you. A pain-free root canal treatment is ensured by completely numbing the area before beginning. You will feel nothing more than what you usually experience during a routine filling.
Root Canal Symptoms
A diseased tooth may cause infection and inflammation. Make an appointment for a consultation if you notice:
- Spontaneous pain in the area
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Pain when chewing and biting
- The tooth is loosening
- Swelling of the gums near the area
- Pus or any discharge
The Causes of Dental Infection
Many events can lead to damaged dental pulp, including untreated dental decay, decay beneath a filling, sudden trauma, bruxism (tooth grinding), cracks, and advanced gum disease.
Your local dentist will listen to your symptoms and examine your mouth visually and by taking an x-ray. The x-ray will show your dental specialist the roots of your teeth and help them establish how complicated the procedure may be.
What Happens If I Don’t Treat the Infection?
Once the pulp in your tooth is infected, it won’t be able to fight the spread of bacteria and if bacteria reach your pulp changer, they will rapidly multiply and cause a severe infection that can spread to the bone. You may end up eroding the jaw bone and the tooth will need to be removed.
Luckily, root canal treatments have extremely high success rates and treated teeth should last for a very long time with appropriate oral hygiene.