The words “root canal” often send people into a panic. But root canals aren’t anything that you have to be afraid of. Westborough Dental Associates, a dentist in Westborough, MA, describes what a root canal really is, what you can expect, and why it isn’t something to worry about.
What is a Root Canal?
Technically speaking, a root canal is actually the hollow space in the middle of your tooth. This is where the dental pulp and nerves are stored. However, when most people are talking about a root canal, they’re discussing a root canal procedure. A root canal is done when the pulp inside of your tooth gets infected, causing pressure and pain.
How Do I Know if I Need a Root Canal?
While many people associate pain with root canals, that’s actually a common symptom to have before the procedure. The infected pulp swells and pushes against the exterior of your tooth, which can become very painful. It can also make your tooth sensitive to hot or cold foods, with the sensitivity lasting for a duration of time.
Tooth pain can come on very suddenly and you may feel it throbbing in and around a certain tooth. Your gums might be swollen and inflamed around this specific tooth as well. Because of the infection inside, your tooth may appear darker and discolored compared to normal. Pain may be worse when you’re chewing or biting.
The Root Canal Process
To start with, one of our experienced dentists will analyze the tooth and diagnose the infection inside it. At a separate appointment, a local anesthetic is used to numb the surrounding area. If you suffer from dental anxiety or have certain medical conditions, we also offer sedation dentistry to help you fully relax throughout the procedure.
A small hole is drilled into the back of your tooth. This allows us to go in with a specific instrument and remove all of the infected material inside. The area will be thoroughly cleaned to make sure there’s no infected material left. Your tooth is then filled with a biocompatible material to stabilize the structure of the tooth. A resin is then used to seal off your tooth.
In many cases, we’ll make a customized dental crown to go over the tooth we just treated. We want you to be able to have full use of your tooth again, and a dental crown gives you that stability. Dental crowns also are designed specifically to blend in with the rest of your teeth. No one will be able to tell you’ve had work done to it.
After a root canal, many people say they feel relief from the pain they may have previously had. This is because the infection is no longer causing problems within the tooth. Patients say that it doesn’t feel like anything more than a dental filling. It’s also much better than the alternative. Without prompt treatment, tooth decay can cause you to need a full tooth extraction.
Root Canals at Your Westborough, Massachusetts Dentist
Your root canal will be done as gently as possible and give you the relief you need. Call us or schedule an appointment online.