You've been having pain in your tooth, so you visit the dentist, and before they even say the words, you know what you’re going to hear: “You need a root canal.”
Your heart sinks, and you begin to prepare yourself mentally for the procedure when you hear your dentist add: “A root canal is definitely the best treatment here. It gives you the best chance to save your natural tooth, and it lets you continue life as normal.”
When you consider the alternative of losing your tooth permanently, a root canal doesn’t sound so bad. That’s why at Full Circle Dental Care in Del City, Oklahoma, Samuel Sigmon, DDS, and his team deliver the treatment you need, with minimum pain and inconvenience.
Here’s how it works:
What is a root canal?
First things first. A root canal is a treatment dentists use to recover a tooth that’s become infected, decayed, or abscessed. The term “root canal” is used to describe the natural cavity that exists inside your tooth. Your tooth’s nerve is located inside this canal, which also includes tissue and pulp.
This tissue can become infected or inflamed due to repeated dental work on that tooth, a crack or chip in your tooth, or even an injury to the tooth that shows no outward damage.
What are the signs you need a root canal?
If you have severe pain when you chew or bite, a chipped or cracked tooth, darkening, and decay in your gums, or lingering sensitivity to hot or cold even after the stimulus is removed, you may need a root canal.
The goal of the root canal is to remove the inflamed or infected tissue from the tooth so it can be saved. The first step is for Dr. Sigmon to take an X-ray of the tooth to gain more information about the tooth and the spread of the infection.
Once the area around the tooth is numbed, Dr. Sigmon removes the decayed or infected tissue. The tooth is then filled and sealed. The last step may include additional work on your teeth, such as adding a crown or other restoration that returns your tooth to its full function.
What’s the benefit to you?
If your tooth is filled with infection or decay and you don’t undergo a root canal, you’re putting yourself at risk to lose at least that tooth (and possibly more, depending on how far the infection spreads). This would then require a bridge or some sort of implant to replace the tooth. If you do have the root canal, though, you likely can save your tooth so it functions normally for many more years.
If you think a root canal might be in your future, call Dr. Sigmon in Del City, Oklahoma, or request your appointment online. We know a root canal doesn’t sound like a fun time, but we’re here to make it as easy and painless as possible.