A root canal (aka root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is a dental procedure performed when decay affects the soft core of a tooth.
What is a Root Canal?
This dental procedure is used to clean out the decay that has settled within the pulp and root of a tooth. Once decay reaches the soft core, the pulp may get infected or become inflamed. Sometimes, this decay can lead to the death of the affected tooth.
The Layers of a Tooth
To protect the tooth, the first layer consists of a hard coating called enamel, beneath this outermost layer is a bony tissue called dentin (which forms the bulk of the tooth) and within the dentin is a soft core that extends to the root located in the jawbone. This soft core houses the dental pulp. This pulp consists of blood vessels, connective tissue and nerves.
During a root canal, the decay is cleaned out of the tooth. Cleaning out the decay allows the infected tooth itself to be preserved.
Root Canal Procedure Steps
- Decay and bacteria are extracted from the pulp, root and nerve.
- The area is disinfected with antibiotics and filled.
- To prevent new decay, the area is sealed.
- Once the root canal is complete, the tooth is covered with a crown (i.e., a prosthetic tooth).
3 Signs that a Root Canal My Be in Your Near Future
- Pain in the Affected Tooth
Pain is a signal that there is a problem.
The pain can:
- Range from mild to excruciating.
- Come and go.
- Last continuously for hours, or even days.
- Only be present upon chewing.
If the issue causing the pain is disregarded, the pain usually changes in its quality or intensity. Many times, pain requiring a root canal causes mild discomfort that progresses to extreme pain and sensitivity. Left untreated, an infection or an abscess (i.e., a blister filled with pus that forms near the affected tooth) may develop.
The only way to know for sure whether a root canal is required is to seek dental treatment from an experienced dental professional.
- Tooth Discoloration
Although teeth can become stained, if you notice that only one of your teeth is darkening in color or turning a grayish-black, the internal tissue may be breaking down and damaging the tooth’s roots. To find out if the tooth requires a root canal, you should make an appointment with a seasoned dental professional like Dr. Robert McBride, DDS, at Colorado Root Canal Specialist in Thornton, Colorado.
- Sensitivity to Hot and Cold
Sensitive teeth can occur for a variety of reasons, however, if this is a new symptom, it may signal that your inner tooth is infected. This sensitivity can be mild or severe.
What to Expect After a Root Canal
After a root canal, you might experience pain or a sense of soreness, however, over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory pain relievers (e.g., ibuprofen) can help with this discomfort.
Most patients require very little downtime (if any), returning to their daily routine directly after their procedure, nonetheless, until the permanent crown is placed, patients should avoid chewing on the temporary one.
If you are experiencing tooth pain, temperature sensitivity or you notice that your tooth is darkening, seeking treatment early offers the best prognosis. Contact Colorado Root Canal Specialist today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Robert McBride, DDS. To schedule by phone, please call 1-303-920-9145 or use the online request form by clicking here.
Colorado Root Canal Specialist, 13762 Colorado Boulevard, #154 in Thornton, Colorado.