Root Canal from Your Anaheim Dentist
The dentists and their team at Hillsview Dental Care sincerely hope that you never have a serious toothache. (And a good way to avoid one is by sticking to a schedule of dental checkups every six months!) However, if you or another member of the family ever does experience tooth pain, then you need to come see your Anaheim dentist right away. Although unpleasant, pain is usually the body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. In the case of a toothache, there may be infection deep inside, making a root canal necessary.
What is a Root Canal?
Whether called a root canal, root canal therapy or endodontic treatment, the procedure is the same—the dentist removes infection from inside your tooth, fills and seals the tooth and then creates a crown to protect the remaining structure.
How Does a Tooth Become Infected?
Infection sets in when bacteria have access to the deepest part of a tooth—the pulp chamber and attached root canals. Here’s what happens.
Your mouth is home to millions of bacteria. At the center of each healthy tooth is the pulp chamber. This is where blood, lymph and nerve tissue carry nutrients in and waste out through root canals. Normally, a tooth’s two outer layers—the shiny white enamel on the outside and dentin in the middle—protect the chamber and canals. However, if there is a large cavity, a loose filling, or a deep crack, then some of those millions of bacteria may be able to enter the pulp chamber. When this happens, infection has a chance to begin.
What Indicates that a Root Canal is Necessary?
Unfortunately, the leading symptom of an infected tooth is usually unbearable pain. As the infection takes up space inside your tooth, the consequential inflammation is very painful.
Other signs of a tooth infection include:
- A tooth that is sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, as well as the pressure of regular chewing
- A sore on the gum tissue near the infected tooth
- Facial swelling
Sometimes, however, there aren’t any symptoms, which is why regular checkups are so important. Your dentist in Anaheim will be able to see the infection on an x-ray if you’re not experiencing any recognizable symptoms.
What Happens During a Root Canal?
First, we want to assure you that a root canal is not painful! The procedure has a reputation for being uncomfortable, but that’s simply not true. With a local anesthetic gently delivered to the tooth and surrounding soft tissue, you’ll be comfortable while your dentist works on your tooth.
Working through a small access hole, we remove the infection and the tissue contents of the tooth. Not to worry—a tooth can function perfectly fine without this living tissue. Once the space is cleaned, a disinfectant is applied and the tooth is filled with a biocompatible material and post that support the tooth and prevent recontamination. Finally, the tooth is sealed and prepared for a dental crown.