People are often terrified when they’re told they may need a root canal. Most people believe root canal therapy is an extremely complex or surgical procedure with significant downtime and risks. However, that’s completely untrue — root canal therapy is a fairly common and simple procedure, and it usually concludes in a single session, without downtime. You can think of a root canal treatment as a slightly more intense form of a filling, necessary if your cavity is too deep for a typical dental filling. Furthermore, root canal therapy is a crucial procedure because it’s your last chance to save an increasingly rotten tooth. If you don’t seek root canal treatment, you may eventually need an emergency tooth extraction. In this article, a root canal dentist near me discusses emergency root canal near me, so you realize that there’s no cause for concern.
What is a root canal?
Before we discuss the root canal treatment, we should briefly discuss your tooth’s general anatomy. A human tooth is made of several layers. The outermost shell is the enamel, followed by the dentin layer, followed by the pulp tissues and nerves. The root canal is the chamber that holds the pulp tissues and nerves, making it your tooth’s innermost chamber. As such, root canal treatments are generally necessary if a dental infection or decay has spread into the root canal, going far deeper than a simple enamel-level cavity.
Root canal therapy is a procedure used to repair and save the tooth from complete decay and infection, usually by removing the infected components. With a normal cavity, the dentist only needs to remove the outer enamel to prevent the infection from spreading. However, if the infection has spread into the pulp chamber, the root canal dentist must remove the pulp tissues and nerves to prevent the infection from spreading into your tooth’s root structure, necessitating an emergency tooth extraction.
Most people are terrified of a root canal because the nerves and pulp tissues are removed. However, your tooth’s nerves only help you detect hot and cold temperatures, so they’re not essential. As such, your teeth will still work perfectly without the nerves, so there’s no cause for alarm. Root canal treatments are completely safe.
What is the main purpose of getting a root canal?
The primary reason for a root canal is removing the infected pulp tissues and nerves to prevent bacterial decay from spreading. If the bacteria continue spreading, they may eventually lead to an abscessed tooth, i.e., pus-filled pockets at the ends of the tooth’s root, which leads to further dental infection.
If you don’t seek a root canal treatment, the dental infection may continue spreading, eventually leading to:
- Swollen face, neck, and head.
- Loss of bone structure around the tooth’s root.
- Dental infection in the surrounding teeth, damaging other teeth as well.
- Drainage problems make the infection spread into your blood and gums, leading to major health problems, like heart disease, diabetes, etc.
- Loss of teeth.
The following are some of the signs that indicate you may need a root canal:
- Excessive tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.
- Sharp pain while using your teeth.
- Cysts on the gums.
- Chipped or cracked teeth.
- Deep holes in the teeth.
- Swollen gums.
- Bleeding gums.
- Dental decay or darkened gums.
What are the benefits of a root canal?
- Painless: A root canal treatment is a painless and fairly comfortable procedure. The root canal dentist administers local anesthesia, so you don’t feel anything. However, in most cases, the dentist can technically work even without anesthesia, because your sensory nerves are probably dead anyway.
- Affordable: Root canal therapy is a fairly affordable procedure, usually covered by dental insurance plans. It’s especially affordable considering the alternative is a tooth extraction procedure, followed by an expensive restorative dental treatment.
- Essential: If you don’t get a root canal treatment, you may eventually lose your tooth completely. As such, a root canal is essential to protect your tooth from complete decay.
What are the stages of the root canal treatment procedure?
- Stage 1 (Consultation): The root canal dentist takes x-rays of your teeth to determine if a root canal is necessary. Dentists only recommend root canals if the dental decay has spread into the pulp chamber, i.e., if it’s too late for a simple dental filling.
- Stage 2 (Root Canal Session 1): The root canal dentist administers local anesthesia, and then drills into the tooth to extract all the pulp tissues and nerves. After cleaning the root canal with sodium hypochlorite, the dentist seals it and applies medication.
- Stage 3 (Root Canal Session 2): After a week, the dentist makes sure there’s no more infection, and then applies sealer paste or a compound called gutta-percha to fill the empty root canal.
- Stage 4 (Dental Crown): Finally, the emergency dentist prepares your tooth, takes measurements, and prepares a dental crown for your tooth. The dental crown is then attached over your shaved tooth to protect it from damage.
What is root canal recovery like?
The root canal recovery process is pretty simple. Your tooth may be numb for a few hours, but you can immediately resume most of your daily activities. You may have to take some painkillers, and you may have to avoid eating from the affected part of your teeth. But you won’t have any serious problems.