Many people are terrified when they hear that they need a root canal. However, root canals have a bad reputation that isn’t actually warranted. They aren’t something you have to be afraid of getting. Dr. Ali Sarkarzadeh of Congressional Dental Care, a dentist in Rockville, MD, explains the process of root canals and why you don’t have to fear them.
What are Root Canals?
A root canal is technically a part of your tooth. It’s the hollow portion inside that contains the dental pulp and nerves, or softer parts of your tooth. However, when someone talks about a root canal, they’re usually referencing a root canal procedure. Root canals are done when that dental pulp inside your tooth gets infected. They’re a conservative treatment that helps you to keep your tooth, instead of getting it extracted due to the infection spreading.
How Do I Know if I Need a Root Canal?
Some people may not even have symptoms when they have an infected tooth. You can not realize that you have a dental infection until your Rockville, MD dentist discovers it during a routine dental checkup. If you have symptoms, the most common one is sharp and sudden pain. It gets worse when you’re biting or chewing something.
Your tooth may also be particularly sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages. The sensitivity is prolonged, even after you’re no longer consuming what caused it. Your gums around the impacted tooth can become swollen and inflamed. You may also notice that your tooth is discolored, often darker. This is due to the infection inside it.
The Root Canal Process
When your dental infection gets diagnosed, your dentist will schedule a separate appointment dedicated to the root canal procedure. We want to make sure we keep you as comfortable as possible. When starting the procedure, the first thing we do is apply a local anesthetic to the area around the affected tooth. We won’t start the rest of the process until you’re numb and comfortable.
Once the area is numb, a small hole will be drilled into the back of your tooth. This gives your dentist access to the inside. Using a special tool, the infected material will be scraped out of your tooth. Once all of the infected material is out, the inside of the tooth will be thoroughly cleaned and filled with a biocompatible material.
The final step of a root canal is usually to place a dental crown over the tooth. While it’s filled with a substance, the tooth may still be unstable. A dental crown ensures that you get the full functionality of your tooth back. It blends in with the rest of your smile as well. The crown also seals off the tooth, preventing further infection.
Many patients say that a root canal doesn’t feel like anything more than a dental filling. The pain associated with root canals comes from the infection itself. The infection is painful and there’s pressure from the swelling of the dental pulp. Once the root canal procedure is performed, there’s usually relief from all of that pain.
Root Canals at Your Rockville, Maryland Dentist
Root canals can actually save your tooth, while not being the nightmare procedure you may expect. Call us or schedule an appointment online if you think you have an infected tooth.