The words “root canal” tend to strike fear in people. Root canals have a reputation for being a painful, scary procedure. But there are a lot of rumors out there that are wrong about root canals. They aren’t something you have to be afraid of. LIFESmiles Cosmetic and Family Dentistry, a dentist in Boise, ID, explains the root canal process.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is technically a part of your tooth. It’s the hollow part inside that contains the dental pulp and nerves. However, when someone talks about a root canal, they’re most likely talking about a root canal procedure. This is done when the dental pulp inside your tooth gets infected. The infected pulp has to be removed, or the tooth is at risk of being extracted.
How Do I Know if I Need a Root Canal?
Sometimes, people don’t even have symptoms that indicate that they have an infected tooth. It may not be discovered until a regular checkup from your dentist. But, most commonly, you’ll notice pain, particularly sharp or sudden pain. It can be throbbing and you notice it more when you’re trying to bite or chew food.
You may also experience sensitivity to hot or cool food and beverages. This sensitivity is prolonged and lasts a while. The gums around the infected tooth may be inflamed and sensitive. Lastly, you may notice that your tooth is discolored and darker. This is due to the infection that’s inside it.
The Root Canal Process
First, a dentist will examine your tooth and determine that you need a root canal. A separate appointment will be scheduled for the procedure. To start, local anesthesia is used to numb the entire area. If you suffer from dental anxiety or have certain medical conditions, we also offer sedation dentistry. We want to make sure you’re comfortable throughout the entire procedure.
Once you’re comfortable, we’ll drill a small hole into the back of your tooth. The dentist will use a specific tool to remove the infected dental pulp from inside your tooth. When all of the infected material is removed, the tooth will be thoroughly cleaned. It’s then filled with a biocompatible material and sealed to prevent any further infection.
Usually, we’ll then put a dental crown over the tooth. It’s a custom restoration that we can make in our office using CEREC technology. We’ll customize the tooth to the shape, shade, and size of your liking, to blend in with the rest of your smile. It allows you to regain the full use of your tooth and keep it nice and strong.
Many patients explain the root canal procedure as feeling like nothing more than a dental filling. For a lot of patients, the pain actually eases after getting a root canal. The infection puts pressure on the walls of your tooth, causing a lot of that pain you’ve experienced. That pressure and the pain of the infection are released once the root canal is complete.
Root Canals at Your Boise, Idaho Dentist
Do you think you may need a root canal? Call us or schedule an appointment online.