Everything You Need to Know About Root Canals

May 30, 2022

root canal anatomyThe dreaded root canal…nobody ever wants to hear that they need one, but often it’s the only way to save a damaged tooth. When the pulp inside your tooth becomes infected or inflamed due to an injury or tooth decay, you’ll need a root canal procedure to remove the pulp and prevent your tooth from dying. Here’s everything you need to know about root canals, the signs to watch out for, and what to expect during a root canal procedure.

Is Getting a Root Canal Really That Bad?

Getting a root canal may not be enjoyable, but it’s certainly not as bad as some people make it out to be. A root canal is actually a very common procedure that saves your natural tooth and prevents considerable pain. You might feel a bit uncomfortable during the procedure, but it will save you a lot of pain and anguish later on.

If your dentist tells you that you need a root canal, don’t put it off! The infection in your tooth could spread to other parts of your body, including your jawbone, where it can cause permanent bone loss. You could also lose your tooth if you wait too long. It might fall out on its own, or you might need a tooth extraction instead. Either way, if you lose a tooth, you’ll have to get a bridge or an implant to replace it.

Five Signs That You Need a Root Canal

  • If you have a gray, discolored tooth, that means the pulp inside of it has died.
  • Pus-filled blisters on the gums indicate a dental abscess.
  • A constant, dull ache or lingering sensitivity to hot and cold means that an infection has reached the root of your tooth.
  • Severe pain when chewing or biting can also be caused by an infected tooth.
  • Extreme, constant pain means that an infection has reached the nerve inside your tooth.

What Happens During a Root Canal?

Every root canal procedure must be performed by a trained and certified endodontist. An endodontist specializes in root canal treatments and other procedures related to the interior of a tooth. They are experts in pain management and will make sure that you’re as comfortable as possible during the entire procedure.

The root canal process typically follows these five steps:

  • X-rays: The first step in a root canal procedure is taking x-rays to look inside your tooth and determine the extent of the damage.
  • Anesthesia: Next, we administer an anesthetic to numb the area and prevent any pain. This is the worst part for most people, but it’s over very quickly. If needed, we also offer sedation options.
  • Cleaning: Your endodontist will make a hole in the top of your tooth and then use very small instruments to remove the infected pulp and nerve tissue. If there is still a risk of infection, an antibiotic may be applied.
  • Filling: After the root canal has been cleaned thoroughly, we fill it with a biocompatible material and seal it off. If the tooth is not strong enough to support a restoration, the endodontist may embed a supporting post into the root canal as well.
  • Restoration: Finally, we will either fill the cavity or fit you with a temporary crown to protect your tooth until your permanent crown is ready.

Non-Surgical Root Canal Treatment in Lone Tree

If you’ve noticed any signs that you might need a root canal, don’t delay! Make an appointment at Lone Tree Modern Dental right away. We partner with the Colorado Endodontic Group to offer extensive endodontic services in-house. Our specialists and dentists will work together to devise a treatment plan that’s right for you.