Questions And Answers About Root Canals

You're sitting in the dental chair, and you hear the unsavory news that you need a root canal. You are not alone. More than 41,000 dental patients undergo a root canal each year .Your dentist will have the experience and expertise necessary to perform your endodontic procedure successfully and comfortably.  Understanding why a root canal is needed and knowing what to expect from the procedure can help alleviate anxiety about your procedure. Here are a few questions and answers about root canals:

What Is a Root Canal?

When one of your teeth is so infected or decayed that it can't be saved with a filling but is still salvageable, you need a root canal. During the procedure, your dentist removes the pulp of the tooth, which is the living material inside of it. In addition, the dentist disinfects and seals the tooth's interior before covering it with a dental cap. As the name suggests, the procedure empties the entire tooth, including the chambers in the root of the tooth.

What Causes the Need for Root Canals?

There are several factors that can contribute to the need for a root canal, such as excessive grinding or pressure on the teeth, irregular oral hygiene, or long periods between dental visits.

You may not even know that you need a root canal until your dentist advises that the procedure is necessary. Some people do experience pain or discomfort from their dental infection or tooth decay, but others don't even notice anything is wrong.  Here are a few symptoms associated with a root canal:

  • Throbbing tooth pain
  • Smelly fluid leaking from the gums near a tooth
  • An abscess with a pimple-like appearance on the gums
  • Jaw pain
  • Increased dental sensitivity to cold and heat

Who Can Perform a Root Canal?

In most cases, your general dentist should be able complete the procedure without any problems. However, in some instances, people have significant issues with the nerves of a tooth, or pulp removal is more difficult because of the structure of the tooth's canals. At these times, seeing an endodontist may be beneficial.

To learn more about root canals, be sure to speak to your local dental professional about the procedure. He or she can answer additional questions you may have about the procedure. In addition, don't hesitate to schedule a dental appointment with a professional like Pinon Hills Dental if you are experiencing symptoms that may indicate the need for a root canal.