The words “root canal” can strike fear into even the toughest dental patients, but there’s good news: the process of getting a root canal doesn’t hurt, and many patients who have been through the process compare it to a routine filling.
At Lovett Dental Gulfgate, we’re here to work with our patients to provide a simple, comfortable root canal experience. We understand that you likely don’t want to hear that a root canal is necessary for your dental health, and we’re happy to answer any questions that you have along the way.
Reasons Your Dentist Might Recommend a Root Canal
Usually, people who need root canal treatment are experiencing severe tooth pain that may become unbearable over time.
Conditions that necessitate a root canal treatment can include:
- Infected pulp
- Broken tooth
- Fractured tooth
- Problems with an old filling
Also known as endodontic treatment, a root canal is a way to remove the infected pulp from a tooth. The pulp of a tooth contains the tooth’s nerves and blood supply. When the pulp becomes infected, it can irritate the nerve, and eventually, infection from the pulp can spread to other parts of the body.
The infected pulp is usually caused by deep tooth decay that has gone untreated. A root canal cleans out the tooth’s infected area, allowing you to keep your natural tooth while relieving the pain of infected pulp.
While the infected pulp is the most common cause of a root canal procedure, it’s not the only reason someone may need to undergo endodontic treatment. A broken or fractured tooth can expose the tooth’s nerve, resulting in pain that can only be fixed with a root canal.
If your dentist tells you that you need a root canal, it’s important to move quickly. Untreated tooth infections can quickly affect your health and become dangerous.
The Root Canal Process
Your general dentist may perform your root canal or refer you to an endodontist or a root canal specialist. Your dental professional will start by taking an x-ray of the area where you need a root canal to ensure that the procedure is the right next step for treating your infected or broken tooth.
Next, a local anesthetic injection will ensure that you don’t feel pain during the procedure. If you feel especially nervous about getting a root canal, you may want to talk to your dentist or endodontist about whether it’s a good idea to take anti-anxiety medication before your procedure. You may be able to get a prescription from your primary care doctor, or your dentist or endodontist may prescribe some for you. Your dentist may also offer sedation or nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to help you feel relaxed during your root canal.
A dental dam will isolate the affected tooth and ensure that no debris gets into the rest of your mouth. Then, your dentist will drill away the decay, remove the pulp from the inside of the tooth, and use files to remove any remaining debris. The area will then be filled to the root and capped with a crown.
You may experience some soreness or pain after the root canal treatment is complete, and your dentist will talk to you about what’s normal and what’s cause for concern.
Dealing With Tooth Pain? Lovett Dental Gulfgate Can Help
Whether you’ve been dealing with tooth pain for a long time, you’ve had a sudden onset of pain, or you haven’t had dental care in some time, you may need a root canal. Our experienced team of dental professionals is here to make the process as simple and comfortable as possible. Reach out to Lovett Dental Gulfgate today at 713-847-8822 to schedule your first appointment.