No one can explain why, but there is something about the words “root canal” that invokes fear and anxiety in the minds of both children and adults alike. What does root canal therapy entail? Is the treatment as painful as it sounds? Find out below:
When is a root canal required?
Inside every tooth, there is the whitish enamel layer followed by a harder layer known as the dentin. Under the dentin, we have the pulp, a soft tissue that contains nerves, connective tissues, and blood vessels.
When the pulp becomes infected—often caused by a crack in the tooth—a root canal is needed to remove it. If the diseased pulp is not removed quickly, it may lead to an abscess; meaning more pain and the entire tooth may need to be removed.
What happens during the procedure?
A root canal may be completed in just one dental visit, with subsequent checkups to ensure that everything is as it should be. During the procedure, the dentist administers local anesthesia to numb the tooth and the surrounding area, and a dental dam is used to keep it dry. A small hole is made in the tooth and the infected pulp is cleaned out. The debris is cleaned out using water or sodium hypochlorite, and the hole is sealed up with a rubber-like material.
How painful is a root canal?
The anesthesia, along with modern root canal techniques, means that patients hardly feel any pain during root canal treatments. Also, since the pulp is infected, the nerve may already be dead, cutting off any sensation.
If your gums are severely darkened, you feel pain when chewing, and/or have a lingering sensitivity to coldness/hotness, your pulp may be infected. If you live or work in Houston, you are in luck. Visit Pearland Family Dentistry, the leading dental facility in the city, and get your treatment started. For any inquiries or to make an appointment, call 832-649-7344.