What Is A Root Canal?

What Is A Root Canal?

Root canal treatment is one of the most common dental procedures performed in the United States. According to the American Association of Endodontists, over 14 million root canals and other endodontic procedures are performed each year. The purpose of this procedure is to save teeth that have been infected by an injury or are otherwise likely to fall out. This article will answer all your questions about root canals and give you the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about dental care.

Symptoms Of A Tooth Infections

If you have a tooth infection, you may experience severe tooth pain, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, gum swelling, and more. You may also notice that the infected tooth is a darker color. If you think you have a tooth infection, it's important to see a dentist right away. A root canal is a treatment that can save an infected tooth.  

The Procedure Of A Root Canal

Before a root canal, local anesthesia will be applied to the infected tooth and the gums surrounding it. If you struggle with anxiety or are nervous about the pain, ask about medications that can help relax you during the procedure like nitrous oxide. During the root canal, the first step is to create a small opening and remove the damaged tissue from the tooth. Next, the root canal is cleaned and sealed. Finally, a crown or filling is placed on the tooth to protect it. Tooth extraction might be necessary if the damage is too extensive for a root canal treatment.

How Long Does The Procedure Take?

The length of a root canal will depend on how infected your tooth is and whether or not you have multiple infected teeth. In general, root canals take 30 minutes to an hour to complete per tooth. However, the procedure may take longer if the tooth is severely infected or if the infected tooth is large. 

Myths About The Procedure And Treatment

Contrary to popular belief, root canals are not painful and can actually help relieve pain from an infected tooth. In most cases, an infected tooth in need of a root canal hurts more than the procedure thanks to the use of a local anesthetic like Lidocaine. Another myth regarding root canals is that if you don’t feel pain from an infected tooth, you don’t need a root canal. This is not always the case and infected teeth that are not causing pain may still require a root canal.

Recovery Time After The Procedure

After a root canal, you may feel some tenderness in your tooth and gums as well as swelling in your face. This is normal and should go away within a few days. If you have any pain, you can take over-the-counter pain medication.

Contact Us

If you have questions about root canals and what you should expect during the procedure, contact us today at 203-227-2520 to set up a consultation.