At Mountain Springs Dental, we care about your oral and overall health. That means if you have a damaged tooth, our team will do whatever we can to save it, including a root canal.
If you have severe pain deep in your tooth, it’s very possible that you have an infected tooth root canal. If so, you’re in need of a root canal procedure.
This may be unwelcome news. After all, there are quite a few urban legends out there about root canal pain, and how terrible the entire process is. This may even encourage you to look for any possible alternative to root canal treatment.
However, we’re glad to let you know that these stories are highly exaggerated, and don’t show much of the truth about root canals. The truth is, root canals are a pain-relieving and tooth saving procedure, rather than one that causes pain.
Having a damaged or infected tooth can seem painful in the moment, but it doesn’t mean you have to lose your tooth altogether. At our Mountain Springs Dental office, you can avoid tooth pain and infection thanks to root canal therapy.
What Is a Root Canal?
The root canal and crown are actually two parts of the structure of your tooth. The crown is the visible portion; it does the biting and chewing. It is covered in enamel, which is a hard mineralized material that keeps the tooth safe from particles and infection.
There’s a lot more underneath, though. Your tooth roots are found below the gum and crown. Underneath the hard outer layers of your tooth is the pulp, which is full of nerve endings and soft tissue. These nerves extend down into those roots. This inner layer of nerves in your tooth root is called the root canal.
When a root canal infection forms in any of these sensitive underlayers of your tooth, it can threaten the life of that particular tooth—and so much more. Everything in your mouth is connected, so if one tooth becomes badly infected, others can as well.
What Causes a Root Canal?
We mentioned above that a root canal procedure is necessary when root pulp becomes infected, but how does that actually happen?
There are a number of ways that a tooth can become infected. If the enamel of the tooth is broken, cracked, or chipped, this can open up a pathway for particles and bacteria to enter the tooth.
Gum disease is also a leading cause of tooth loss, due to bacteria. If left untreated, that bacteria can creep down below the gumline, causing the gums and bone to begin to recede. This exposes the tooth roots and leaves them more vulnerable.
Whatever root canal causes are responsible for the infection, they can eventually take hold and begin forming a cavity. Any type of tooth can be sensitive to this sort of damage. You may end up needing a molar root canal, or a root canal front tooth procedure.
What Is the Root Canal Procedure?
When you experience root canal symptoms, you may be asking yourself what a root canal looks like? What should you expect from this process? Is it really even necessary?
A root canal treatment—or root canal therapy—is the process of going inside the tooth to clear out the infected nerves and tissues of the root canal. At Mountain Springs Dental, we can safely clean out your tooth and seal it so that the infection doesn’t spread to your other teeth.
It all starts with a diagnosis. In our office we will do a root canal x-ray, as well as a visual scan of your teeth. This will tell us what we need to know about the state of your tooth root, and what we have to do to make it healthy.
From there, a root canal specialist will go into the top of the tooth. Using a long, flexible tool, we then clean out any damage and infection from the inside of your tooth. This part of the process relieves the pain that the infection was causing to the sensitive nerves and soft tissues.
We finish the procedure by filling the newly-cleaned tooth with a biocompatible material, and capping it with a custom-designed dental crown. This leaves your tooth as good as new, and ready to get back to daily life.
How Do You Know If You Need a Root Canal?
One of the key signs you need a root canal treatment is severe tooth pain. If the pain is strong enough, we may even need to perform an emergency root canal.
We promise, it’s not as scary as it sounds! Contrary to popular belief, this process isn’t there to cause more pain, but rather to relieve it. In fact, it’s not very different in technique from a traditional cavity filling. It just takes place in a different part of the tooth.
Root Canal vs. Extraction
There is an alternative treatment option to a root canal, however. If the deep parts of a tooth are compromised enough, extraction may be the better choice. But when do you need a root canal, and when is extraction better?
Extractions can be the right option for you in many circumstances. If the tooth is too damaged to be saved, or if the adjacent teeth are at risk, then removal is the wise decision. However, unless that level of damage occurs, a root canal carries quite a few advantages over tooth extraction.
The most important of those benefits is that root canals are designed to save your teeth.
There is no need to remove a tooth, and then go through further treatment to replace that tooth with either a bridge or a dental implant. With a root canal, the structure of the tooth is still there, and still healthy. After the cleaning, we only need to top it with a root canal crown, and the tooth is pain-free and good as new.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Root Canal Process
Can You Eat After a Root Canal?
You will want to give yourself some time to heal, but you can eat. Stick to soft foods for a few days, avoid anything with extreme temperatures, and don’t eat anything hard or crunchy until you have your permanent crown placed.
Do Root Canals Hurt?
The process itself is done under local anesthetic. You may feel the pressure of the dental tools, but it should not be painful while we are working.
Should I Feel Throbbing Pain After Root Canals?
No. Your tooth area will be sensitive, as you heal, and you may wish to take some painkillers. But if you feel very intense pain, contact us immediately.
How Long Does a Root Canal Take?
On average, less than an hour.
How Long Is Root Canal Recovery Time?
Most people recover from a root canal with a few days of good rest and care.
Where Can I Get A Root Canal Near Me?
We’re happy to help you out with any of your dental needs. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation.
Find Out More About Root Canal Therapy with Mountain Springs Dental
Root canal treatment isn’t something to be scared or nervous about. Our skilled team at Mountain Springs Dental is equipped to provide you with quality treatment that will leave your tooth healthy and secure, and leave the rest of your smile protected from the potential ravages of serious disease or decay.
Get in touch with our office in Ogden, Utah, today with any questions or to set up an appointment!