Just the term ‘root canal’ often scares people and inflicts images of painful dental procedures. In reality, a root canal is a conservative approach to saving a tooth and is no more painful than having a dental filling placed. With a 95% success rate, a root canal is a smart option to saving a tooth. Our dentists perform root canal therapy in our Fox Lake dental office under local anesthesia.
A root canal is necessary when the tooth’s nerve is affected by decay or damage. The pain associated with a ‘root canal’ is caused by the infection to the tooth’s nerve and not the actual procedure.
Root Canal Symptoms
Some patients experience no symptoms whatsoever, but common symptoms include:
- Severe toothache
- Pain when chewing or biting
- Prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages
- Tooth discoloration
- Sore gums
Benefit to a Root Canal
If you neglect to have the root canal procedure, the nerve of the tooth will eventually be destroyed. While you may still opt to extract the tooth, it is best to keep as many natural teeth as you can, and a root canal makes that possible.
Root Canal Procedure: What to Expect
Dr. Thomas Prendergast will work with his patients to make sure their comfortable during the treatment. He will explain thoroughly he steps involved to educate the patient and answer any questions they may have. We believe that patient education can help relax patients and allow them to feel more confident in their oral health decisions.
The root canal process is a relatively simple procedure and begins the same way a tooth filling does. There usually isn’t any greater discomfort, either. Dr. Prendergast will need to take diagnostic x-rays to evaluate the tooth and root canal, looking for signs of infection in surrounding areas. He will then administer an anesthetic to numb the tooth and the surrounding area.
Once the patient is comfortable and numb, Dr. Prendergast will drill a small hole into the tooth to access the infected tissue and remove the damaged nerve and any debris inside the tooth. Removing the infected pulp will relieve any pressure caused by the infected tooth. The tooth is then cleaned and filled with an inert, biocompatible material used to stabilize the structure of the tooth and prevent further decay.
While root canals have a painful reputation, most patients actually experience pain caused by the infection, not the root canal procedure. Many patients even enjoy pain relief after the infection is removed, cleaned and sealed.
After Root Canal Therapy
To strengthen a tooth after root canal therapy, we often recommend the placement of a dental crown to help support the structure of your tooth. Custom fit and color matched to your natural teeth, a dental crown fits around the tooth like a cap and will support the long term health of your tooth.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are experiencing root canal symptoms, make an appointment with one of the dentists at Infinity Dental of Fox Lake determine the best form of treatment.