Like many of our patients, you may have questions about root canal treatment and how to make it as comfortable as possible. Root canal therapy is one of those dental terms that’s often talked about, but less often understood. Many people think it’s a painful and mysterious dental secret. The truth is that modern root canal treatment can be performed with little or no discomfort and can be credited with saving more teeth than almost any other dental treatment.
The part of your tooth under the gumline is called the root. Inside each root there is a channel called the root canal that contains the nerves and blood vessels that bring nutrients to your teeth.
Sometimes gum disease, a fractured tooth or decay under very old fillings can cause these nerves and vessels to become painfully infected and die. Years ago this condition often meant extracting the tooth. But today we use root canal therapy to treat the infected canal and save the tooth. One crucial tip to make your treatment more comfortable, we recommend is that when an infection is present, please complete an antibiotic treatment before commencing treatment. When an infection is active, it can make your treatment more uncomfortable than is necessary.
We usually administer a local anesthetic to prevent any discomfort. When we do this, we provide a numbing gel and a drop of anesthetic to the site beforehand. Then we make a small opening in the tooth to clean and medicate the inflamed root canal. When the infection is gone, the canal space is filled with a rubber-type material.
Afterwards, we use a healing laser treatment to accelerate healing and decrease your sensitivity.
Your tooth will probably need a crown to strengthen it. This will allow your tooth to last as long as it would if it was a natural tooth. Successfully treated teeth last just as long and look just as good as normal teeth. Root canal treatment is a real smile maker!
We also have more information for you to learn more about root canal treatment and watch educational videos.