If you’re struggling with a dental problem, you might worry you need a root canal. Root canals sound scary thanks to depictions in popular media, but the truth is that the procedure is similar to having a cavity filled and can preserve your oral health.
At Full Circle Dental Care in Del City, Oklahoma, we know understanding a procedure can help put our patients at ease. Dr. Samuel Sigmon specializes in performing this common dental procedure. Here’s a look at why you might need a root canal and what you can expect.
Conditions root canals address
Root canals are specifically used to get rid of a dental infection that’s spread to the root canals of your tooth. These tiny tubes in your teeth house each tooth’s dental pulp and nerve and descend from the middle of your tooth through the root.
Cavities or chips and cracks in the enamel of your tooth can allow bacteria to travel into the root canal. When the infection reaches this area, you typically experience pain since the nerve in the pulp can swell and become inflamed. Dr. Sigmon uses root canals to eliminate dental infection or decay before it can spread.
Signs you may need a root canal
The best to determine if a root canal is the right treatment for you is to see a dental professional, like the team at Full Circle Dental Care. You should, however, watch for other signs that may indicate you need a root canal, including:
- Tenderness and swelling in your mouth
- Severe pain, especially when biting down or chewing
- Sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages
- A pimple-like bump or abscess on your gum
- Persistent tooth pain or pus around the tooth
- Discoloration of the affected tooth
- Throbbing in your mouth and jaw
If you don’t seek treatment for a diseased tooth, the infection can get worse, and you may lose the tooth. Untreated dental infections can also spread to other teeth and even travel through your bloodstream to other areas of your body.
What to expect during your root canal
In pop culture, people depict root canals as incredibly painful. This simply isn’t true! In fact, Dr. Sigmon begins your root canal treatment by numbing the tooth and surrounding area, so you won’t feel any pain. If you’re anxious, Full Circle Dental Care also offers a range of sedation dentistry options to keep you more calm and relaxed throughout your treatment.
Once you’re numb, Dr. Sigmon makes a small opening in the infected tooth, then uses specialized instruments to perform a pulpectomy — the removal of the diseased pulp, decayed tissue, damaged nerves, and bacteria from the tooth.
Next, Dr. Sigmon fills the empty space left by the pulpectomy with special material to seal and stabilize your tooth. Most patients then get a temporary filling or dental crown to seal the tooth until your follow-up appointment when Dr. Sigmon replaces the temporary filling or crown with a permanent one.
If you’re ready to learn more about the conditions root canals address or how a root canal can save your tooth, call the experts at Full Circle Dental Care in Del City, Oklahoma, or request an appointment online now.