Root canal: The procedure has a reputation that induces dread in people. Although most people think root canals are unpleasant, painful procedures, you might be surprised to find out they’re not as bad as you think. As with a lot of things, people fear what they don’t know and many people know surprisingly little about the procedure.
However, since a little knowledge can go a long way towards allaying those fears, Dr. Michael Mulkey and his associates at Lost Mountain Dental at Due West of Marietta, GA would like to tell you a little bit about root canals.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal therapy is often called simply a “root canal”, is needed when the tissues inside your tooth — the pulp — become infected. This usually happens as the result bacteria infiltrating the insides of your tooth through deep decay (cavities) or a chip or crack in the enamel — the surface — of your tooth. This infection can enter the tooth’s root canals — hence the name of the procedure — and into the tissues of your gums forming an abscess. Abscesses are very severe and painful infections that can endanger your overall health having been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease..
When Do I Need a Root Canal?
There are a few ways that you may begin to suspect that a root canal might be necessary. These include a sensitivity of the tooth to temperature and touch. Also, inflammation and sensitivity of the gums around the affected tooth is another sign. Informing your dentist of these symptoms will help he or she to decide if a root canal is necessary and appropriate for your tooth. Some dentists will perform their own patients’ root canals while others may refer you outside their offices to a specialist in treating the interiors of your teeth, called an endodontist.
The Root Canal Procedure
Your dentist will thoroughly numbing the area to be treated before the procedure begins. Then, he or she will open the infected tooth by drilling down into it to remove the infected pulp its’ roots. Once we are adults, our teeth no longer need the pulp to stay healthy as they will continue to be nourished by the surrounding tissues. Therefore, it’s not going to cause any problems if our dentist removes it.
Once the pulp has been removed, a biocompatible material — gutta percha — will temporarily fill the interior of the tooth until restoration can begin. In some cases, where tooth decay has made the tooth unstable by compromising the roots, a tiny metal rod may need to be embedded into the root to anchor the tooth into place in your gums.
Restoration is final part of the process in which your dentist or endodontist creates a crown and installs it over your damaged tooth. The crown will be crafted using state of the art computer design and made of material that matches to the natural hue of your teeth. The crown will seal up the tooth, preventing the infection from returning. The inflamed tissues surrounding the site will recede in only a few days and then the new crown can be used to chew and cleaned just like your natural teeth.
Comfortable Root Canal Treatment in Marietta, GA
So the big, bad root canal is actually nothing to be afraid of. It’s actually a procedure designed to alleviate pain and save your natural teeth, allowing you to once again chew properly and smile confidently. As with most illnesses, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Brushing twice daily, flossing daily and scheduling regular exams with your Lost Mountain dentist are all important steps to avoid needing a root canal.
If your teeth have recently developed any chips or cracks, you should see your dentist right away and you might avoid even needing a root canal. But if you do need a one, now you know there’s nothing to be afraid of. To schedule with Dr. Mulkey or one of his associates at Lost Mountain Dental today, call (678) 212-1280 or schedule an appointment online.