Root canals have long been shrouded in dread, myth, and sometimes, outright terror. But this is due to unrealistic portrayals in popular culture. At Brightcraft Dental & Laser, we believe that with advancements in technology and anesthetics, there’s little truth to these myths anymore. So now, let’s look at the step-by-step process of doing a root canal to help alleviate any concerns.
What is a Root Canal?
Root canals are a common dental procedure designed to save a tooth that has become infected or severely decayed. An endodontist – a dentist specializing in treating the inner part of the tooth – removes the infected pulp within the tooth. Then, they clean and shape the root canal’s inside, filling and sealing the space. The final step is to add a crown or other aesthetic cap to maintain the tooth’s appearance and function.
What Happens During a Root Canal?
Here’s a simplified step-by-step process:
1. Local Anesthetic: The endodontist will begin by applying local anesthesia to numb the tooth and surrounding area. This ensures the procedure will be painless.
2. Access Hole: Once numbed, a small hole is drilled into the tooth to gain access to the root canal system and the diseased or inflamed pulp.
3. Pulp Removal: Next, the pulp within the tooth is carefully extracted using specialized tools.
4. Cleaning and Shaping: Then, the endodontist cleans and shapes the interior of the root canals using the specialized tools, removing bacteria, nerve tissues, and debris.
5. Filling the Root Canal: After the cleaning is complete, the root canals are filled with a biocompatible material, usually gutta-percha. The access hole is then sealed with a temporary filling.
6. Restoration: On a final visit, the temporary filling is replaced with a permanent one or a crown, restoring the tooth to full function.
Do Root Canals Hurt?
The most common misconception about root canals is that they are excruciatingly painful. In reality, most patients find that the procedure is no more uncomfortable than a regular filling. Modern dental practices have advanced quite a bit, and now root canals are virtually painless. In addition, here at Brightcraft Dental & Laser, our endodontists take every measure to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure. So there’s nothing to worry about.
What If a Root Canal Fails?
While root canals have a success rate of over 95%, they sometimes fail. In these rare cases, the tooth may not heal as expected, or it can get re-infected. This happens for various reasons, including complex canal anatomy or improper restoration. In these cases, endodontic retreatment or surgery may be recommended to save the tooth.
Can You Have a Root Canal While Pregnant?
Yes, root canals can be safely performed during pregnancy, particularly in the second trimester. However, each case is unique, and the circumstances should be discussed with your dentist. At Brightcraft Dental & Laser, we prioritize your dental health and your overall well-being, ensuring the safest and most comfortable treatment for every patient.
In conclusion, a root canal is a routine, typically painless procedure that can save your natural teeth and prevent the need for dental implants or bridges. If you suspect you may need a root canal or have any concerns about the procedure, the Brightcraft Dental & Laser team is here to help.
Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation.