What Is A Root Canal?

Root CanalA root canal is the procedure done to save a badly damaged tooth. Whether it is caused by decay or infection, this procedure is needed in order to refrain from having to remove the tooth. During the procedure you will receive a local anesthetic in order to dull the pain while the root canal is taking place. This procedure can be done locally at a family dentist in Clearwater, Florida.

Root Canal Procedure

The root canal is the natural cavity within the tooth. Inside of the cavity also lies the soft area known as the pulp, and the tooth’s nerve. During the procedure, your family dentist or dental specialist will remove the pulp and the nerve from the inside of the damaged tooth. Contrary to what some may think, the removal of the nerve will not affect the everyday functions of the tooth. Its only purpose is to distinguish between the senses of hot and cold.

After the tooth has been successfully cleaned out, sealing will be used to fill the inside of the cavity of the tooth where the pulp and nerve has previously been removed. It will also be placed around the outside of the tooth as a protective barrier to prevent further infection or abscesses.

After a seal is placed over the tooth, your dentist will then shape the tooth slightly on the top and the sides in order for a dental crown to be properly fitted over the sealed tooth. A dental crown is made personalized by taking a mold or impression of the tooth. This process is sometimes referred to as “cementing”.

 What Other Options Do I Have?

A Root Canal is not always suitable for everyone. For instance, with young children and some military personnel in rapid deployment, dentists often use a temporary or interim crown placed over the tooth. This can be used to temporarily protect an infected tooth for long periods of time, until a more permanent solution is available. In some cases, when a tooth is beyond repair and a root canal is no longer an option, the tooth may need to be removed. Once the damaged tooth is safely removed you have the option of getting a dental implant. Although some people live without the removed tooth due to personal or financial issues.

A dental implant is used to replace the damaged tooth, or teeth. Dental implants act like your missing teeth, being placed into the jawbone and eventually fusing to the bone. With an implant, you have all the functions you would with a natural tooth. It is very hard to notice any differences, leaving this to be a very common treatment.

Symptoms And Causes Of An Infected Tooth

Signs that a root canal may be needed vary from person to person. Some people may not experience any problems or discomfort, yet the infection worsens. This is why routine check-up visits to your dentist are an important part of dental hygiene. Symptoms of an infection include

severe toothache

pain when chewing/applying pressure

discoloration/darkening

swelling/tenderness

reoccurring pimples on the gum line

Repeated dental procedures, lack of dental hygiene, severe facial trauma, cracks and chips, and deep decay are some of the causes of infection to the tooth’s pulp and nerve. Infection causes inflammation and causes the tooth to become irritated, which leads to problems resulting in needing a root canal.

 Root Canal Recovery

It is normal to experience some tenderness and mild pain after getting a root canal done, but this should only last for a few days. Do not eat until the numbness wears off. You may also experience soreness in your jaw for a day or two, but this can be taken care of with over the counter medication. You may be prescribed narcotic pain meds, and it is important to follow the doctors after care instructions and to read the labels and directions on the medications in order to have the quickest safest recovery possible. If any of the following occur it is important to contact your dentist right away.

Visible swelling inside or outside of mouth

Any allergic reactions

If the seal has been broken/removed completely

In order to maintain the health of your tooth after having this procedure done, be sure to floss and brush daily. A root canal can fix the problem at hand, but if one continues to maintain poor dental hygiene the problems will continue to arise.

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