When you hear someone say “root canal”, you probably don’t think happy thoughts. Root canals have an unfair reputation of being a horrible, painful procedure when that’s not the case at all. Dr. Brock W. Hyder of Payette Dental, a dentist in Payette, ID, explains the root canal procedure and why it isn’t something you have to be afraid of.
What is a Root Canal?
Technically, a root canal is a hollow portion inside of your tooth. It holds the dental pulp and nerves. However, when someone mentions a root canal, they’re usually talking about a root canal procedure. These are done when the pulp inside your tooth gets infected and the infection needs to be removed. Root canals are a conservative treatment that can help save your tooth from being extracted.
How Do I Know if I Need a Root Canal?
Sometimes, people with infected pulp don’t even notice it. You may not even know you have an infected tooth until Dr. Hyder discovers it on one of your routine dental checkups. Commonly, though, most people with a tooth infection experience pain. It usually comes on suddenly and is sharp. It’s more noticeable when you’re trying to bite or chew something.
Many infected teeth also become overly sensitive to hot or cold foods and beverages. The gums around the infected tooth can become swollen and inflamed. You may notice that the impacted tooth is discolored or darker than normal. This is due to the infection inside it.
The Root Canal Process
At Payette Dental, we work to make sure you have the most comfortable dental procedure, no matter what it is. If we diagnose that you have a dental infection, we’ll schedule a separate appointment for your root canal. The first thing we do is make sure you’re comfortable. We administer a local anesthetic around the area of the infected tooth.
Once you’re fully numb, we’ll proceed with the procedure. First, a small hole is drilled into the back of the tooth. This allows Dr. Hyder access to the inside of the tooth. Using a particular tool, he’ll scrape out the infected material. Once all of the material is out, the inside of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned. The tooth is filled with a biocompatible material to seal it off from any further infection.
Usually, a root canal procedure is completed with a dental crown. Though your tooth isn’t fully hollow, due to the biocompatible material, it still may be unstable due to the infection. A dental crown goes fully over the entire tooth. This helps to ensure that you have full functionality back in your tooth and don’t have any sensitivity. It also helps prevent further infection.
Many patients say that a root canal doesn’t feel like anything more than a dental filling. In fact, many times a root canal can relieve the pain you feel. The pain associated with a root canal comes with the infection that’s causing pressure and pain inside your tooth. When that infection is removed, you usually get relief and the pain dissipates.
Root Canals at Your Payette, Idaho Dentist
Root canals aren’t something you have to be afraid of. Do you think you may have an infected tooth? Call us or schedule an appointment online.