The thought of root canals can leave some people feeling uneasy. In truth, it’s a fairly straightforward procedure meant to relieve pain and save teeth. The purpose of a root canal is to treat problems in the pulp tissue inside teeth. You may need a root canal if you’re experiencing the following symptoms:
- Constant, severe pain in the mouth
- Swelling along the gum line
- Sharp pain when biting on food
- Extreme sensitivity to heat or cold that lingers after eating
These symptoms point toward an infection in the tooth’s pulp tissue. The pulp tissue consists of blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves, explaining the severity of the pain. The pain can go away, at least for a time; however, leaving the tooth alone can lead to further infection in the jaw or in the body.
How the Procedure Works
A root canal in Guelph is a simple, routine procedure that takes only a single visit. This procedure works similarly to a filling.
1. An anaesthetic is applied to numb the tooth and surrounding area. This is likely the most harrowing part of the operation.
2. The endodontist then makes a small opening in the tooth to access the pulp chamber and root canals.
3. Special tools are used to clean out dead and dying pulp tissue inside the tooth.
4. The chamber and canals are then filled with a cleansing solution to remove and remaining bacteria and tooth debris.
5. The now-empty space is filled with an inert, biocompatible material, then sealed with adhesive cement to prevent further infections inside the tooth.
6. The procedure isn’t finished until the crown is restored to a functional state. The endodontist still has to finish some restoration work (e.g. placing a crown on the tooth). This work makes the tooth as good as new, and ready to use again.
After the root canal treatment, it’s common to feel sensitivity or discomfort for a few days. Your dentist may prescribe painkillers to help with the pain. During this time, avoid biting with the affected tooth; this can dislodge the temporary filling covering the opening.
Common Root Canal Myths
Several myths about root canals have been circulating over the years. As a result, people would much rather suffer the pain of a damaged tooth than undergo the procedure. However, putting off having a root canal is worse for teeth.
Root canal myths would have you believe that:
● They’re painful. Modern techniques have been developed to make root canals a relatively painless procedure. A root canal aims to remove the damaged tissue that causes the pain. The worst will be over when the endodontist removes the pulp tissue as part of the treatment. Endodontists in charge of the procedure are also experts in pain management and know how to keep pain to a minimum.
● They cause illness. Several sources claim that root canal treatments can make you more susceptible to disease — an idea based on poorly-designed research. In truth, there is no evidence connecting root canal treatments to diseases that occur elsewhere in the body.
● It’s better to have teeth pulled out. Tooth extraction for damaged teeth is an option, but a secondary one. Endodontic treatments have a high success rate and can last years after the operation. Replacing an extracted tooth can be a more complicated and time-consuming procedure, and implants and bridges aren’t as good as keeping your natural teeth.