Movies can be a great source of entertainment, but we believe they have given some people the wrong idea about dentists and dentistry.
Root canals may be the best (or worst) example of this. Far too many people are more afraid of getting a root canal treatment than of fixing the problem they are meant to solve.
If you live in or near Plano, TX, we encourage you to visit our dentist office if you have been suffering from a toothache. We will do everything we can to make your root canal procedure as pain-free as possible.
With all due respect to Pink Floyd, comfortably numb is how we want you to feel before we start the process of a root canal treatment.
We can accomplish this one of two ways. The first option is to administer a local anesthetic. This will numb your affected tooth and the surrounding soft tissues.
If you are concerned that this may not be enough, we can use dental sedation instead.
We can administer nitrous oxide, or you can try oral conscious sedation during a root canal treatment.
With nitrous oxide, all you have to do is breathe. We place a mask over your nose and turn on the gas. As you inhale it, you will feel more relaxed and remain calm.
With oral conscious sedation, you take some medicine before we begin. This may leave you feeling groggy, although some patients do fall asleep.
With either form of sedation dentistry, you will get the analgesic benefits, so you won’t feel any pain. These also have amnesiac effects, so you may not remember much, if anything, about your treatment.
What Happens During a Root Canal Treatment?
The procedure for getting a root canal involves a few steps.
The first thing we need to do is gain access to the inside of your tooth. The pains that are the symptoms of an infected tooth occur when the soft pulp in the center of a tooth become inflamed.
Many times this happens as a result of untreated tooth decay, which has eaten into the middle of your tooth, or gum disease, which allows bacteria to eat through the roots and into the root canals of the affected tooth.
Root canals are openings in the roots where blood vessels and nerves enter the tooth. They share space in the root canal and the pulp chamber with the soft pulp.
Once our dentist has created the opening in your tooth, he uses special tools to remove the inflamed pulp, the blood vessels, and the nerves in that tooth.
He then cleans and sanitizes the inside your tooth. A special material is used to fill your tooth so it won’t be hollow and to reduce your risk of a recurring infection.
To complete the procedure, our dentist will seal the tooth with either a filling or a dental crown. This restores the appearance of your tooth and provides a final layer of protection against a new infection.
What Are the Symptoms of an Infected Tooth?
Infected teeth develop when the innermost parts of your teeth are exposed to bacteria. This is the same bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease. If those conditions aren’t treated early, they can lead to the bacteria eating into the pulp chamber or a root canal.
When your pulp becomes inflamed, you may experience a couple different kinds of pain.
You may feel a constant, low-level pain. You may notice sharper pains at particular times, such as when you bite down with the tooth that is infected.
You also may notice increased sensitivity when you eat or drink hot, cold, or sweet things.
If you are experiencing any of those symptoms, then you need to contact us as soon as possible. The sooner we can remove the infection, the faster we can alleviate your pain.
Of course, the best option is to avoid a tooth infection completely. This is why it’s important to brush your teeth twice every day, to floss daily, and to visit 1st In Smiles a few times every year for routine cleanings and examinations.
If we see signs of tooth decay or gum disease, we can often treat it before it leads to a more serious tooth infection.
Feel Better With a Root Canal Treatment
Your toothache is not going to go away on its own. Don’t wait until the pain is more than you can stand, make an appointment at our Plano dentist office to get a root canal procedure as soon as you are able.