We know that the mere mention of a root canal can make you squirm, but this oft-feared procedure is actually much less painful than you may think. Indeed, root canals are not the excruciating nightmares they are often portrayed to be. In fact, they are highly effective restorative dentistry treatments that can save a tooth from extraction and provide relief from severe dental pain.
Don’t let a deep cavity turn into a painful dental infection. Get a gentle root canal with Dr. Matthew Bridges at Chisholm Trail Smile Center in Duncan, OK. Just give our team a quick ring at (580) 255-4880 to get scheduled!
In this blog, we demystify root canals, exploring what they involve, why they are necessary, and the benefits they offer.
Understanding Root Canals
A root canal (sometimes called endodontic therapy) is a dental procedure that aims to treat infections or damage that has penetrated the innermost portion of a tooth – the pulp.
The pulp contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. Deep decay, cracks, trauma, or repeated dental procedures can lead to infection in the pulp. If ignored, the infection can spread, leading to abscesses and more severe health issues.
The Procedure Unveiled
Contrary to popular belief, modern root canals are relatively comfortable, thanks to advancements in dental technology and anesthesia. Generally, the procedure involves the following steps:
- Diagnosis: The dentist examines the tooth and uses X-rays to determine the extent of the damage and infection.
- Anesthesia: Local anesthesia is administered to numb the area, ensuring a pain-free experience during the procedure.
- Access opening: The dentist creates a small access hole in the crown of the tooth to reach the pulp chamber and root canals.
- Cleaning and shaping: The infected or damaged pulp is carefully removed from the pulp chamber and canals. The dentist then cleans, disinfects, and shapes the canals to prepare them for filling.
- Filling: The cleaned canals are filled with a gummy, biocompatible substance called gutta-percha to seal them and prevent further infection.
- Restoration: A temporary or permanent filling is placed in the access opening to seal the tooth. In some cases, a dental crown may be recommended to provide additional protection and restore the tooth’s function and appearance.
Benefits of Root Canals
There are numerous benefits of a root canal, including:
- Pain Relief: The procedure aims to eliminate the source of pain, offering immediate relief.
- Tooth Preservation: Rather than opting for tooth extraction, a root canal allows you to keep your own tooth intact. By preserving your own teeth, you can maintain better oral function and prevent bone loss and dental shifting.
- Efficient Chewing: With the infected pulp removed and the tooth restored, you can chew and enjoy your favorite foods without limitations.
- Aesthetic Appeal: In cases where a dental crown is recommended, it not only strengthens the tooth but also enhances its appearance.
- Overall Health Benefits: Root canals prevent the spread of infection to other parts of your body, reducing the risk of systemic health issues linked to untreated dental infections.
Gentle Root Canals in Duncan, OK
Root canals, far from being the dreaded nightmare they are often perceived to be, are essential dental procedures that save teeth and alleviate pain. So, it’s no wonder why experts estimate that roughly 41,000 root canals are conducted daily in the US.
Do you need a root canal? Dr. Bridges and his team at Chisholm Trail Smile Center in Duncan, OK, can help. Get started by requesting an appointment online or calling (580) 255-4880 for availability and information.