The Painless Truth About Root Canals
You’ve noticed something different the last few mornings during your morning coffee run. Drinking coffee seems to hurt, almost as if your tooth is sensitive to the hot drink.
Even so, you figure it’s no big deal and go on with your work.
A week later, you notice that one of your teeth looks discolored while you are brushing your teeth. It’s almost black in some places.
But again, you don’t do anything.
Before you know it, your tooth is aching, and your gums feel tender around your tooth.
You may need a root canal treatment.
If you live Auburn Hills, Troy, or anywhere else near Rochester Hills, then you can call the dentists at Hubbard & Leath Dental for help.
What Would Your Rather Do?
Root canals, or rather root canal treatments, have a bad reputation. It’s become a cliché for people to say, “I’d rather have a root canal than ….”
Endure the pain of a constant toothache?
Worry that your next drink of hot coffee or an icy cold drink will add to your pain?
Risk more damage to your teeth and gums?
You’ve probably heard someone say that root canal treatments are painful. The truth is root canal procedures should not hurt in a modern dental practice.
When a dentist recommends a root canal treatment, it’s because he or she wants to relieve a patient’s problem, not cause the patient more pain.
What Is a Root Canal?
We’ll assume that you want to know about the procedure, but we’ll start with a little bit of tooth anatomy.
Your teeth are divided into two major sections. The crown is the visible part of a tooth, and the root is the part of a tooth that is hidden behind your gum tissue.
Inside your root is an opening called the root canal. Inside this canal are three things — pulp, nerves, and blood vessels. The nerves and blood vessels help keep your tooth alive.
If you have tooth decay or gum disease, this can wear down the enamel on the outside of your teeth. This decay often is not painful … at first.
As the infection eats deeper into your tooth it will reach the pulp. This can cause the pulp to be inflamed, which can cause your tooth to ache.
When this happens, it’s time to schedule a root canal treatment.
What Happens During A Root Canal Treatment?
If the pulp of your tooth is infected or inflamed, then the pulp will need to be removed.
The first thing we will do is give you a local anesthetic. We don’t want you to feel any pain during your procedure.
(For what it’s worth, we also offer dental sedation options, like nitrous oxide, if you want to make absolutely sure that your don’t feel a thing.)
To remove the infected pulp, your dentist needs to get to the inside of your tooth. The dentist will make an opening in your crown to get access to your root canal. The dentist will use special tools to remove the pulp, nerves, and blood vessels from inside your tooth.
The dentist will clean and sanitize the inside of your tooth, and then your root canal will be filled with a special material that helps to prevent a new infection.
Depending on how much of your crown had to be removed, the dentist may give you a dental filling, an onlay, or a dental crown to seal your tooth and to add another layer of protection from infection.
When the treatment is over, you may need a few days to heal, but you should notice that your toothaches have gone away.
Why Not Remove The Tooth?
Whenever possible, dentists prefer to keep as much of your healthy teeth intact as possible.
With a root canal, we are able to preserve most of your tooth. Even without its nerves and blood vessels, your tooth can receive enough nutrients to stay alive from the surrounding tissues.
Preventing The Need For A Root Canal Treatment
While root canal procedures are safe and effective, it’s still better if you never need one.
The best way to do that is by following the American Dental Association’s recommendations on oral care.
You should brush your teeth twice daily and floss once per day. When you brush, remember to scrub your teeth for two minutes each time and to get your teeth on all sides.
When you floss, remember to floss between each tooth and behind the teeth in the back of your mouth. Hug the floss around each tooth and under your gumline. This is how you remove bacteria and plaque from places that you can’t reach with a toothbrush.
Last, but not least, visit Hubbard & Leath Dental for regular cleanings and examinations. We’ll remove any plaque or tartar that you may have missed, and we will be on the lookout for any problems that may be developing.
Call Sooner, Not Later
With proper oral hygiene, you may never need a root canal.
But if you notice increased tooth sensitivity, tooth discoloration, or pain, then you should see a dentist as soon as you can. If you live in or near Rochester Hills, the team at Hubbard & Leath would be glad to help you.