What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a procedure commonly used to treat a diseased or damaged tooth. Root canals are endodontic procedures, meaning the procedure treats the inside of the tooth rather than the outside. When tissue inside the tooth, known as pulp, becomes infected or inflamed, an endodontic procedure like a root canal is the best way to try and save the tooth. However, if left untreated, an infection may cause a tooth to be removed.
Getting a root canal can restore your tooth after infection from faulty crowns, cracks, chips, or other decay so that you can maintain your natural smile, have normal biting force and sensation, and chew efficiently.
Signs You May Need a Root Canal
There are several signs that mean you may need a root canal procedure completed. Root canal symptoms can include:
- Pain in the tooth with pressure, when you eat or bite down.
- Prolonged sensitivity to hot and/or cold. The sensitivity may even continue for a bit after the hot or cold is taken away.
- Swelling and tenderness in the surrounding gums.
- A pimple like sore on the gums.
- Discoloration of the tooth.
Root Canal Treatment Steps
A root canal is very similar to a routine filling procedure. The first step in a root canal is to take x-rays of the tooth to help Dr. Edington get a better idea of the oral health of the tooth. Next, Dr. Edington will administer local anesthetic to numb the tooth and surrounding tissue. He will then create an opening in the tooth and use small instruments to remove the pulp and make room for a new filling. This area will be cleaned before it is sealed to keep out bacteria and prevent infection.
Once the tooth and the root canals inside are sealed, Dr. Edington will fill the root canals with a material called gutta percha, a rubber-like material. Then, he will fill your tooth with a temporary filling. Patients will return to our offices for a second appointment to place a permanent crown placed on your tooth for full restoration.
Does a tooth need special care after a root canal?
A tooth that has gotten a root canal shouldn’t need special treatment after all signs of infection are gone and your permanent crown has been placed on your tooth. You will still need to schedule regular dental visits, brush twice a day, and floss regularly. The tooth can stay healthy the rest of your life even after a root canal.
If you are experiencing tooth pain, please contact our dental office in Las Vegas to schedule an appointment with Dr. Edington.