Answering Your Root Canal Questions
Root canals may be one of the most feared and most misunderstand dental procedures.
Many people have dental anxiety, but even patients who are comfortable with basic dental care get nervous about when they hear, “You need a root canal.”
Many people are unclear on what a root canal is, which may lead to some of the misperceptions people have about the procedure.
Today, Millburn Dental Arts is taking some time to answer questions about root canals and root canal therapy. If you live in Millburn, NJ, or in the surrounding area, we encourage you to contact us with any questions that you may have.
► What Is A Root Canal?
Root canals are part of your teeth.
As you may know, your teeth are basically divided into two parts — crowns and roots. Crowns are the visible parts of your teeth. Roots are the parts that are behind your gum tissue and anchored into your jawbones.
The roots have openings in them. These are the root canals. These openings are where blood vessels and nerves enter your tooth. The root canals lead to the pulp chamber at the center of your tooth.
Pulp is a connective tissue, which is also found in the pulp chamber and the root canals.
► How Does A Tooth Become Infected?
A tooth becomes infected when the pulp becomes infected or inflamed. This is the result of exposure to bacteria.
Bacteria can access the inside of your tooth a few different ways.
One way is tooth decay. When you have a cavity, bacteria is eating away at your tooth. If a cavity proceeds long enough, it will reach the center of your tooth where the bacteria will infect the pulp.
Another way people get infected teeth is gum disease. When you have gum disease, it can lead to plaque and tartar forming around the roots of your teeth. These are prime locations for bacteria to eat into the roots of your teeth. As they eat away at the roots, they can reach the root canal, where once again they can infect your pulp.
A third way that you can get an infected tooth is because of a broken or cracked tooth. A traumatic injury can expose the inside of your tooth. This can give bacteria easier access to the pulp.
► What Are The Symptoms Of An Infected Tooth?
Pain is one of them. Teeth are not supposed to hurt. Make an appointment with our dentist as soon as you are able when you notice tooth pain.
Tooth infections will affect different people in different ways. You may feel a throbbing pain that comes and goes.
You may have a lingering pain that gets worse the longer it continues.
You may notice increased tooth sensitivity, particularly if you are eating or drinking something cold, hot, or sweet. You also may notice pain when you put pressure on the infected tooth when you bite or chew.
You may notice swelling or tenderness of the gum tissue near the infected tooth. Another symptom is a pimple that recurs on your gums near the problematic tooth.
► How Can We Prevent Tooth Infections?
Prevention is the best approach to oral health. Brushing your teeth (twice a day), flossing between your teeth and gums (daily), and visiting our office for routine cleanings and examinations will go a long way in this regard.
If you notice tooth decay, act fast to have the decay removed and your cavity filled. If you have gum disease, treat it early before it can cause additional problems.
And if you suffer a tooth injury, visit us as soon as possible so we can seal it with dental bonding or one of our same-day dental crowns.
► What Happens During A Root Canal Procedure?
To relieve your pain, we need to remove the infection from your tooth. We do this by removing the pulp, blood vessels, and nerves from the problem tooth.
Before we begin, we will give you a local anesthetic or sedation so you won’t feel any pain during your procedure. Once we know you are numbed or sedated, we create an opening in your tooth and remove the infected tissues.
We then clean and sanitize the tooth before filling it with a special material and sealing it with a dental filling or a dental crown.
► How Can You Schedule Root Canal Therapy?
Our office is located in Millburn, NJ. Call us with any questions you have about root canal therapy or any of our other restorative procedures.