A root canal is a common procedure that dentists use to save a tooth by removing the infected or damaged root. For many, even thinking about a root canal can cause anxiety. However, painful root canals are a thing of the past and having a root canal far outweigh the risks that can come by not having the procedure. If you are experiencing dental pain and your dentist is recommending a root canal procedure, this is what you can expect.
What is a Root Canal?
The root is located deep within the tooth. On the outside of the tooth is the enamel, which is the hard outer layer of the tooth; beneath that layer is the dentin and under that is the soft pulp which contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissues that reach from the inside of the crown to the root’s tip. A root canal may be necessary should the pulp become damaged or inflamed due to infection. And while the pulp is necessary for the tooth’s development, it serves little purpose once the tooth is fully developed. That said, should the pulp become inflamed or damaged, it can be removed without affecting the health or well-being of the tooth. In fact, removing the infected pulp or root increases the chances of saving the tooth.
Root Canal Procedure
Saving the tooth is the primary reason a dentist will perform a root canal. To do this, your dentist will remove the inflamed pulp and then thoroughly cleanse the inside of the tooth, removing the decay and any residue from the infection. Once the tooth is hollowed out, your dentist will fill the space with a rubbery-like substance that quickly hardens; then a crown or filling is attached so that the tooth feels, functions and looks like any other healthy tooth.
While some opt for general anesthesia, the root canal can be performed under local anesthesia. Either way, most who undergo a root canal agree that the procedure itself is painless. Most root canals can be performed in a single appointment unless the patient has multi-canals and larger infections. If a crown needs to be created, you will be fitted and will need to come back once the crown is complete.
Top Dental Care in the Twin Cities
Whether you are experiencing dental pain, have reason to believe you may need a root canal, or simply want to maintain a healthy smile, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible. If you live in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area, Dr. Steven R. Hagerman is the trusted provider for your entire family’s dental care needs. Find out why Dr. Hagerman is a featured provider on Angie’s List, and has been named a “Top Dentist” by Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Hagerman for you or your family, call (651) 646-2392 or use our convenient online appointment form.