We have all heard the sarcastic joke, “I would rather get a root canal”. However, despite the negative stigma, root canal therapy is no longer the painful experience it once was. In fact, root canal therapy saves an estimated 24 million teeth each year in the United States. If these millions of men and women had avoided getting a root canal because of negative rumors, it is quite possible their infected or damaged teeth would have eventually worsened and needed to be removed entirely. Want to know more about how a root canal in Scarborough can save your teeth? Keep reading below.
What is a Root Canal?
Root canal therapy is a procedure to repair and save a severely-damaged or infected tooth. Also known as endodontic treatment, it targets the pulp of a tooth – the soft tissue and nerves inside the root canal. When this pulp is inflamed or infected it can cause extreme pain or lead to an abscess.
You should talk to a dentist about root canal therapy if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Severe dental pain
- Prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold
- Tooth discoloration (usually a darkening)
- Discomfort when chewing
- Swelling, drainage and tenderness in the lymph nodes
The 4 Steps of Root Canal Therapy
A root canal is typically completed in one or two visits to the dentist and involves the following steps:
- Step 1: Local anesthesia is administered to numb the tooth and prevent any feelings of discomfort.
- Step 2: Using special tools, the dentist will make a small hole in the top of the tooth to access its inside. He or she will then clear away the damaged or infected pulp and shape the inner chamber of the tooth and root.
- Step 3: The inner chamber of the tooth, newly cleaned and dried, is filled with a biocompatible material. The opening in the tooth is closed with a temporary filling.
- Step 4: Lastly, a few weeks after the procedure a permanent crown or another type of restoration is placed on the top of the tooth.
Are Root Canals Painful?
Despite their somewhat scary reputation, root canals are not the nightmare scenario that many people assume. In fact, according to the American Association of Endodontists, most patients feel little to no pain at all during root canal treatment. Thanks to local anesthesia, sedation dentistry and advances in modern dental surgery techniques, root canal therapy in 2019 is no more uncomfortable than having a routine filling placed.
Remember: living with the pain of an infected tooth is the real nightmare scenario! If you are suffering from severe dental pain, talk to a dentist in Scarborough today to see if root canal therapy can help.
About the Author
A proud graduate of the Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Gus Bal was voted as “Best Dentist in Scarborough” by the Readers Choice Awards for four consecutive years. He pairs cutting-edge technology with a caring, personalized approach to help patients achieve and maintain healthy smiles. Individuals suffering from an infected tooth can visit the Bal Dental Centre website or call Dr. Bal at 416-267-6789 to learn more about root canal therapy.