Root canals are a dental treatment performed to repair and restore a tooth that has been infected or severely decayed. A root canal procedure is designed to remove bacteria from the infected root chamber to prevent reinfection and save the tooth.
A tooth infection affects the central part of the tooth, known as the pulp. The pulp is made up of blood vessels, connective tissues and the tooth’s nerves. A root canal treatment primarily involves the removal of the tooth pulp.
When you undergo a root canal treatment, your dentist will inject local anesthesia into your gums and tooth to make you comfortable. Once your tooth is numb, the dentist will carefully remove the infected and inflamed tooth pulp and clean and disinfect the inside of the tooth. After removing the damaged pulp, the dentist will coat the root chamber with an antibiotic to ensure the infection is eliminated and prevent reinfection. The dentist will then enlarge and shape the root chamber and fill the gap with a dental filling or cover the tooth with a dental crown.
There are many reasons why your tooth may get infected. Often, the first sign that you may need a root canal is tooth pain, but sometimes there are no symptoms. A tooth can become infected or inflamed due to severe decay, a chip or a crack on the tooth, ill-fitting fillings, dental trauma or repeated dental procedures on the tooth.
One of the greatest fears patients have is of the pain that accompanies a root canal. But contrary to popular belief, the pain you feel comes from the infection and not the treatment. During treatment, your dentist will relieve pain by numbing the tooth and the area surrounding the tooth using local anesthesia.
After the treatment, you may experience some pain, gum swelling and tenderness, but this is temporary. Your dentist may prescribe drugs, or you may use over-the-counter pain medication to relieve the pain.
Most patients recover from a root canal after a few days. In some cases, patients may experience some complications, and recovery may take a week or two.
At Peak Dental Arts, we provide comprehensive dental care to patients in the North and West Vancouver area.
Schedule an appointment today or give us a call if you have questions about our root canal treatments.