A root canal is the only way to save your tooth when an infection has reached the inner pulp. The good news is that the procedure is comfortable and pain-free when performed by Dr. Leslie McDougall at Morrow County Dental. They’re experts in laser root canals, which are quicker than conventional procedures, and they offer several types of sedation. If you have tooth pain, sensitivity, or swollen gums, call her office in Mount Gilead, Ohio, to book an appointment.
A root canal is a specialized endodontic procedure to remove infected and inflamed pulp inside your tooth. The pulp contains the nerves and blood vessels that nurture your tooth. It’s located inside a small canal that begins in each tooth root and runs up to the center of your tooth.
Your teeth are normally protected by hard enamel. When a tooth is chipped, cracked, or decayed, bacteria can get through the damaged enamel and infect the pulp. A root canal is the only way to treat infected pulp because it effectively eliminates all the bacteria and saves your tooth.
Pain is often the first symptom you’ll experience. In fact, many people quickly develop severe pain because the infection directly affects nerves in the pulp. When the infection spreads into your gums, it can form an abscess, which is also very painful.
You may also develop:
Before the procedure, your doctor talks with you about anesthesia. Most patients have a pain-free root canal with local anesthesia. If you’re anxious about dental procedures, however, your doctor has other options available, because the team at Morrow County Dental specializes in sedation dentistry.
During a root canal, all of the pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth canal is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Then the canal is filled with paste-like material that supports the tooth, and the tiny hole used to access the canal is sealed.
While root canals can be done using standard tools, your dentist at Morrow County Dental performs laser root canals, which are faster, more comfortable, and often eliminate infection-causing bacteria more thoroughly than conventional root canals.
When the root canal is finished, your dentist will recommend covering the tooth with a crown to restore its strength. You might need a crown, for example, if you had a deep cavity that weakened the enamel structure.
In some cases, your dentist may be able to do a procedure called pulp capping rather than a full root canal. This option is possible if the infection hasn’t yet reached the pulp.