Root canals often get a bad reputation. However, they’re not nearly as bad as people tend to make them out to be. Dr. Frank Henrich of Henrich Dental, a dentist in Tulsa, OK, explains what you can expect from a root canal and why you don’t need to worry.
What is a Root Canal and Why Do I Need One?
The name root canal actually refers to a hollow area inside your tooth. This is where the tooth pulp and nerves are stored. A root canal procedure is needed when this tooth pulp gets inflamed or infected. Root canals are also often needed for repeated trauma to the same tooth, extreme damage, a broken dental restoration, or severe tooth decay.
When you have a chip, crack, or break in your tooth, it makes it easier for bacteria to invade the interior of the tooth. When an infection gets into the pulp, it can cause swelling and extreme tooth sensitivity. The pain that’s often talked about when it comes to a root canal is because of this. Getting a root canal procedure actually alleviates the pain that’s caused by the infection.
Root canals are done as a conservative measure to save your tooth. If you let the infection or whatever is harming your tooth continue, there’s a solid chance that you’ll have to have a tooth extraction. A missing tooth or a tooth filled with decay can harm the teeth surrounding it.
What to Expect From the Root Canal Procedure
For a root canal procedure, many patients state that it basically just feels like a dental filling. You’ll get a local anesthetic to make sure that you’re comfortable throughout the procedure. If you’re someone that suffers from dental anxiety, we also offer sedation dentistry. We offer full IV sedation to ensure that you’re able to get through the root canal process.
Once you’re comfortable, a small hole is drilled into the back of your tooth. A special tool is used to scrape out the infected material inside. All of the impacted tooth pulp will be removed from the tooth and the inside is then thoroughly cleaned. A biocompatible filling material is used to fill in the hollow portion of the tooth, to make it more stable.
Almost always after a root canal, a dental crown is used to cap the tooth. This helps make sure your tooth is stable and able to be used normally. It also is used to prevent any further decay. Your dental crown will be customized to fit you specifically. This includes shape, color, and size so that it fits in with your smile naturally.
Root Canals at Your Tulsa, Oklahoma Dentist
Root canals aren’t something that you have to be afraid of. They’re a simple procedure that can help save your tooth. If you’re experiencing tooth pain, it’s time to get it checked out. Call us or schedule an appointment online!