Root Canal 101: Everything You Need to Know
A toothache sometimes is benign and disappears on its own. However, in most cases, tooth pain results from decay, cavities, and infections. The infection, left untreated, can spread to the surrounding tissues or worse still lead to tooth loss.
Getting the infection removed and preserving your natural teeth is our primary goal and that is why we offer root canal in El Paso Texas. A root canal therapy is a moderately invasive dental procedure that is done to remove the infected pulp.
What is A Tooth Canal?
Although used interchangeably, a root canal and root canal therapy are different terms. A root canal is a chamber found in the teeth that houses nerves and tissues. Our teeth are made of enamel and dentin (the inner layer). The dentine contains a pulp cavity that contains tissues and nerves. The pulp nourishes the pulp during the teeth development stage. However, once the teeth attain maturity they find nourishment from the surrounding tissues.
How is the Root Canal Infected?
Poor hygiene that promotes bacterial growth is the primary cause of pulp infection. But, other factors like repeated dental procedures can also cause bruising and infection.
What are the Signs of Pulp Infection?
You need a root canal treatment if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Pimples in the gum
- Severe pain when chewing
- A cracked and chipped tooth
- Lingering sensitivity to hot and cold foods
- Deep decay
- Darkened gums
- Swollen and tender gums
What Does the Endodontic Procedure Involve?
The root canal treatment requires two to three dental visits to be complete and it is done in several steps:
- First dental appointment (the Pulp removal)
On your first dental visit, the endodontist will examine the teeth and gums and the extend of the infection. The dentist takes a radiograph of your dental structure to check how the infection has spread.
Next, the gums are numbed using local anesthesia and a small protective sheet is placed in between to separate the affected tooth and keep it clean and free of saliva.
The crown is opened to access the pulp and using dental instruments the dentist cleans the pulp cavity and reshapes it in preparation for the filling. A biocompatible material is used to fill the chamber and seal it.
The dentist will then use a temporary filling to cover the area and restore the function of the tooth.
- The second dental appointment (the fixing of the crown)
On the second consultation, the temporary filling will be replaced with a permanent dental crown. The use of dental crowns after a root canal has been contested, but it is a necessary step. Once the pulp is removed, the tooth becomes weak and prone to infections. Using the crown restores the strength of the teeth and prevent infections.
Will There Be Pain During the Root Canal Procedure?
No. Although most people are afraid of endodontic treatments, the advancement of dental technology makes the root canal in El Paso, Texas bearable. We use local anesthesia and at times dental sedation is used to reduce anxiety and phobia. There are several types of dental sedation, and the dentist will choose the ideal option.
What Are the Post-Endodontic Procedure Instructions?
Taking care of the affected tooth is crucial to the healing process.
- Avoid eating chewy, hard, and spicy foods that may irritate the gums
- Don’t smoke during the healing period
- Avoid brushing the area for the first 24 hours
- You can use pain relievers to ease the discomfort
What Will Happen If You Fail to Get the Root Canal?
Failure to get the root canal in El Paso, TX the infection will spread to the surrounding tissues and the rest of the body. Furthermore, it will lead to the death of the tooth and lead to an extraction.
Tooth removal will create gaps and you will need restorative dental procedures to replace and close the gaps.
If you notice severe toothache especially when chewing food or have pimples on your gums, visit Walter L. Tippin DDS, Paul Apilado DDS for assessment and treatment.