A root canal—two words that can evoke a sense of dread in many. Yet, understanding the procedure can significantly diminish any apprehension surrounding it. In fact, a root canal is often the very solution to alleviating acute dental pain and preventing further complications.
The term “root canal” is a bit of a misnomer. It doesn’t just refer to a part of a tooth but also to the dental procedure used to treat infections within the central part of a tooth—the pulp. The pulp chamber houses vital tissues, including blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerve cells. When this pulp becomes infected or inflamed, either through decay, fractures, chips, or repeated dental procedures, it can lead to severe pain and even abscesses.
The Diagnosis: Everything begins with a comprehensive diagnosis. This involves using X-rays to get a clear image of the tooth and surrounding bone, helping the dentist gauge the infection’s extent and decide on the best course of action.
Preparation: Local anesthesia is administered to numb the affected tooth and the surrounding area, ensuring a comfortable and pain-free experience for the patient.
The Main Procedure: Here’s where the magic happens. A small opening is made in the crown (top) of the tooth to access the pulp chamber. The infected pulp is carefully removed, and the chamber and root canals are cleaned and disinfected. Once the area is free of infection, it’s filled and sealed with a biocompatible material, ensuring the space is well sealed off from potential contaminants.
Post-procedure: Following the root canal treatment, a restoration phase often follows. This could mean placing a crown on the tooth, providing it with extra strength and restoring its natural appearance.
One of the most common misconceptions about root canals is that they’re excruciatingly painful. However, the pain commonly associated with the procedure actually stems from the infection itself. The root canal treatment alleviates this pain. With advances in modern dentistry and local anesthetics, most patients find that having a root canal is no more uncomfortable than getting a standard filling.
Opting for a root canal procedure helps save the natural tooth. Maintaining your natural tooth ensures efficient biting, maintains the sensation, preserves the tooth’s appearance, and protects adjacent teeth from abnormal wear or strain.
At Crown Dental Inglewood, our very own Dr. Barooty and Dr. Bandary are well-versed in making the root canal experience as comfortable and seamless as possible. The key is to address any dental issues early and to stay informed. With the help of trusted organizations such as the American Dental Association and the American Association of Endodontists, patients can stay abreast of the best practices in dental health.