There’s no mistaking the signs that you need a root canal. Of course, you may not know that an infected root canal is the problem, but you’ll certainly know that something is seriously wrong. The most noticeable symptoms of a root canal infection are pain and pressure in a particular tooth, which radiates into the gums.
Whatever the pain level, the problem is the same. The nerve in the tooth is either irritated or infected, and needs to be removed. During the procedure, Bakersfield dentist Dr. Aaron Breaux clears the nerve roots from canals inside the tooth, hence the name “root canal.”
Why Do I Need a Root Canal?
Your teeth are protected by an outer layer of enamel. If decay enters the enamel, the tooth can become infected. Fillings are effective for repairing small defects, but once the inner part of the tooth is compromised, bacteria can reach the soft pulp that surrounds the root of your tooth. If this occurs, it’s critical to remove the infected pulp and the nerves that run through the pulp to avoid losing the tooth.
Do Root Canals Hurt?
Root canals have a notoriously bad reputation, and this is one of the first questions we usually hear. But we’d like to set the record straight – root canals are not painful. Not even close!
The reason is simple. Every patient undergoing a root canal is given multiple applications of anesthesia, usually a topical application followed by a local anesthetic. This process numbs the nerves in the tooth as well as the area around it. We won’t begin your procedure until we know that your mouth is numb and you are completely comfortable.
Once the procedure is complete, you’ll feel better immediately because the irritated nerve is no longer sending pain signals to your brain. There may be some minor irritation for a few hours from the surgical procedure itself, but it’s nothing an over-the-counter pain medication can’t handle.
What Happens During a Root Canal?
Since the nerves in your teeth only serve a sensory capacity – they let you know when something’s hot or cold – they can be removed without severely compromising the tooth. After all, your surrounding teeth are still sensitive enough to tell your brain when something you’re eaten is hot or cold.
The first step involves making a small opening in the tooth to provide access to its interior. Next, Dr. Breaux carefully removes the infected pulp, nerves, and other internal materials from the tooth. The space is then filled with a substance that acts as a pulp replacement. The final step is to cap the tooth, and you’re finished. No more infection, and your pain levels will drop. In time, the pain will completely dissipate as your immune system gets the message that the infection is gone.
But we know you still may be apprehensive because years of conditioning have probably left you with a pretty low opinion of root canals. We can assure you that we’ve performed many successful root canals, and we make every effort to keep you comfortable during your root canal.
Please Call to Get the Relief You Need
Your teeth will usually provide clear signals if there’s a problem (although it is possible to have an infection and have no symptoms). But the decision to have a root canal should only be undertaken after a thorough consultation with Dr. Breaux.
If you’re experiencing pain and think you need a root canal, please call us at THE Smile Lounge as soon as possible.