What is a root canal?
A root canal is a type of oral surgery designed to save a damaged or infected permanent tooth. Many people think extractions are better than root canals, but that isn’t necessarily the case. If you’re missing one or multiple teeth, you’re also at a higher risk of gum disease and bone deterioration.
If I need a root canal, will I know it?
The most obvious symptom associated with root canals is tooth pain, but not every toothache is caused by infected or inflamed tooth pulp. Other telltale symptoms include:
- Pain when biting or chewing
- Tender or swollen gums
- Darkening of the tooth
As the infection gets worse, it can also cause ulcers or open wounds to form on your gums or cheeks. If you’re experiencing these or any other similar symptoms, contact Dr. Jue and the team at A Beautiful Smile at Lake Pointe right away.
What happens during a root canal?
Root canals usually take two separate appointments. However, if your affected tooth is in good condition, Dr. Jue may recommend a CEREC same-day crown.
At your first appointment, Dr. Jue performs a thorough physical exam and takes 3D X-rays of your gums and teeth. Once he pinpoints the source of your infection, Dr. Jue administers a local anesthetic, numbing your gums, teeth, and tongue. Before beginning, Dr. Jue also covers your tooth with a rubber dam to keep it dry and free of saliva and debris.
During your root canal procedure, Dr. Jue carefully drills a hole in the top of your affected tooth and removes the damaged nerves and inflamed tooth pulp. After eradicating the infection, he cleans out the inside of your tooth with a sterile solution and seals it with a temporary crown to prevent further infection.
A week or two later, you return to the office for your follow-up visit. During your second appointment, Dr. Jue removes your temporary crown and fills the interior of your tooth with a material called gutta-percha. Next, he affixes a permanent crown, restoring your smile to its original condition.
Are root canals painful?
Thanks to modern anesthetics and techniques, root canals are safe and generally well-tolerated. Most procedures take no more than 90 minutes and the majority of people can return to work and other normal activities right away.
You may experience some swelling, tenderness, or general discomfort in the days following your procedure, but over-the-counter medications should provide adequate relief.
If you have a tooth that may require a root canal, call or use the online booking tool to make an appointment today.