Root canals have a bad reputation for being painful. But, especially with modern developments in dentistry, they’re nothing that you have to be afraid of. Dr. Quinn Woodruff of McLeansville Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, a dentist in McLeansville, NC, discusses what you can expect from a root canal.
What is a Root Canal?
Technically, the root canal is actually a part of your tooth. It’s the hollow cavity inside that holds your dental pulp and nerves. However, when you hear the words root canal, they’re probably discussing a root canal procedure. This is done when the dental pulp inside gets infected and needs to be removed from the tooth.
How Can I Tell if I Need a Root Canal?
Some people don’t have any symptoms telling them that they have an infection inside their tooth. It may not be discovered until you’re getting your regular dental exam from Dr. Woodruff. If there are symptoms, the most common one is pain. It can come on suddenly and it’s worse when biting or chewing.
Other symptoms include experiencing sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages on this specific tooth. The area around the affected tooth can become red and inflamed. You may also notice that your tooth is discolored. It often looks darker due to the infection that’s inside the tooth.
The Root Canal Process
First, Dr. Woodruff will do a dental exam and confirm that you have an infected tooth that needs a root canal. We want to make sure to take the most conservative measures possible so we can save more of your natural tooth. A separate appointment will be scheduled to do the root canal procedure.
A local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area around the tooth. Then, a small hole is drilled into the tooth. A special tool is used to scrape the infected material out from inside the tooth. It’s thoroughly cleaned inside to make sure that none of the infected material remains. The tooth is filled with a biocompatible material to seal it from further infection. In most cases, a dental crown is placed over the tooth to fully stabilize it.
While you’ve probably heard horror stories about root canals, patients say that they don’t feel like any more than a dental filling. The pain that people speak of is actually the pain from the infection inside the tooth. When the root canal is done, you may get instant relief because the infection is gone and there’s no more pressure on your tooth.
Root Canals at Your McLeansville, North Carolina Dentist
Root canals aren’t something you have to be afraid of. Call us or schedule an appointment online.