Root Canals 😨


I know the last thing people want to hear when the come to the dentist is that they need a root canal.  I believe part of this is because of a huge negative connotation that has been created in our society with root canals and pain.  Another part is that most people have no clue what is happening during a root canal procedure.  Let me help calm you fears and let you know what it is we are doing to help relieve or prevent future pain.  
1.  When do I need a root canal?
- Root canals are needed when the pulp (the nerve and blood vessels) in the tooth are inflamed and dying or dead and necrotic.   During the inflammation stage pain to cold and sometimes hot is very common.  This is typically what gets patients in the door.  The pain can be sever and linger after every drink, food item, or breath of cold air hits the tooth.  If you are having this symptom you should be seen right away for further evaluation.  After the nerve is dead, the pain tends to change.  The hot/cold sensitivity may subside and change to spontaneous constant throbbing pain and pain on chewing.  Typically infection will form at the base of the root causing severe pain.  Pain is not always an indicator.  I have seen people with large infections and no pain.  Pain or no pain when the nerve is dead and infection is setting in, its time for a root canal if you want to save the tooth

2.  What happens during a root canal
- First getting you comfortable is our top priority.  A local anesthetic is administered to numb the nerve so you should feel no pain during the procedure.  Let your dentist know if the numbing is not working well so we can address your comfort level.  After you are nice and numb we enter a tunnel system in your tooth that carries the pulp tissue.  The pulp is then removed and the inside of the tooth is disinfected, dried, and filled with a material to help keep bacteria out and infection from coming back.   Sounds not too bad right?  After the root canal is finished you will need a filling or a crown to restore the tooth (your dentist will let you know what is needed).

 Please don't let the idea of getting a root canal scare you into getting the tooth pulled.  I think most people will find the root canal experience better than they anticipated and are glad they saved a tooth.  If you have any further questions or think you may need a root canal, schedule an appointment with Dr. Grooms at ABC family Dentistry.  Call our office today 423-639-2176


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