Most patients dread the thought of needing a root canal. The root canal procedure is often depicted in movies and television as being extremely painful and traumatic. In fact, the root canal procedure is no more painful than having a dental filling.
The pain associated with a root canal actually comes from the infection, and a root canal procedure can alleviate that pain quickly and easily.
The Structure of a Tooth
The term “root canal” actually refers to the natural cavity at the center of the tooth. The tooth’s nerve is located inside the root canal, surrounded by soft tissue called pulp. If the tooth is damaged or has decay, bacteria and debris can enter into the root canal area and cause an infection. In severe cases, an abscess can occur which requires immediate treatment to avoid infection spreading to the rest of the body.
About the Root Canal Procedure
Multiple visits may be necessary for the root canal procedure. First, your Lanier dentist will take diagnostic x-rays to evaluate the tooth and root canal. An anesthetic may be administered to relax the patient and relieve discomfort.
A small hole will be made to allow access to the inside of the tooth. The infected tissue and damaged nerve will be removed and the root canal will be thoroughly cleaned and polished. If there is infection, antibiotics may be prescribed and the tooth will be temporarily sealed until the infection has healed.
Once the infection is clear and the root canal is free of debris, it will be filled with a biocompatible rubber compound called gutta percha. Next, your dentist will cover the tooth with either a dental filling or dental crown to protect the root canal from future damage and add strength to the tooth.
If you suspect you need root canal therapy, please contact our Buford, Georgia dental office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Brown or Dr. Newberry.