When people hear the words “root canal” they usually flinch. Root canals have a bad reputation for being painful, though this reputation is mistaken. Dr. Siddhi Patel of Park Dental, a dentist in Hilliard, OH, explains why you don’t have to fear getting a root canal.
What is a Root Canal?
Technically, the root canal is actually a part of your tooth. It’s a hollow area inside it that contains your dental pulp and nerves. However, when you hear someone talking about a root canal, they’re usually referring to a root canal procedure. This procedure needs to be done when you get an infection inside that dental pulp in your tooth.
How Do I Know if I Need a Root Canal?
For some people, they never even have symptoms that betray the infection inside a tooth. It may not be found. You may only discover you have one at a general dentistry checkup with Dr. Patel. The most common symptom, though, is a pain in the tooth. It usually comes on suddenly and can be sharp. It gets worse when you’re putting pressure on the tooth while biting or chewing.
Another common symptom is having prolonged sensitivity when your tooth comes into contact with hot or cold food or beverages. The gums around the infected tooth can become red, inflamed, and swollen. Your tooth may appear discolored. It usually looks darker due to the infection present inside the tooth.
The Root Canal Process
To start, Dr. Patel will do an examination of your tooth and diagnose the infection. A separate appointment will be made for the root canal procedure. When you come into the office that day, we’ll use a local anesthetic to numb the area around the infected tooth. If you suffer from dental anxiety or certain medical conditions, sedation dentistry is available to keep you relaxed throughout the procedure.
Once you’re comfortable, a tiny hole is made in the back of the tooth. Dr. Patel will use a special tool to scrape the infected pulp out of the tooth. The inside of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned out to ensure no infected pulp is left. A biocompatible material fills the inside of the tooth to keep it stabilized. Usually, a dental crown is placed to make sure you get back the full functionality of the tooth and protect it from further infection.
The pain that many people associate with a root canal is actually that of the infection itself. The dental pulp swells and puts pressure on the tooth. Once this material is removed, patients often feel relief. The root canal process is described as feeling like nothing more than a dental filling.
Pediatric Root Canals
If a child has an infection in a primary tooth, something like a pulpectomy can be performed. With this process, we remove just a portion of the infected pulp and leave the healthy pulp intact. Since this tooth will eventually fall out, a less invasive maneuver can be done.
Root Canals at Your Hilliard, Ohio Dentist
Do you think you have a tooth that could be infected? Call us or schedule an appointment online.