In the United States, dentists do more than 15 million root canals every year. Despite misconceptions, root canals are common procedures that are actually one of the safest and most effective, and painless ways to preserve your natural, permanent teeth. Ahmed Elgazar, DDS, Ziad Tedini, DDS, and the team at Tustin Dental Center regularly perform root canals to address infection and prevent further damage. If you’re suffering from a toothache, call the office in Tustin, California, or use the online booking tool to request an appointment today.
A root canal is a type of oral surgery designed to treat an infected tooth and prevent the need for an extraction. Inside each of your teeth is a material called dentin. Beneath the dentin is a hollow area called the root canal that contains the pulp, made up of nerves and blood vessels.
Other than providing sensations like hot and cold, your tooth’s nerves aren’t essential for activities like chewing.
If you crack, chip, or damage a tooth, bad bacteria can get down beneath your gumline, enter your root canal, and infect your tooth pulp. As the bacteria continue to multiply, an abscess may form, causing further infection.
Other symptoms that can indicate you need a root canal include:
An infected root canal can also cause pimples or open sores to form on your gums.
Though root canal treatment is a minor surgery, it usually requires two separate appointments.
At your initial consultation, your dentist takes X-rays to observe your jawbone and tooth roots. If signs of infection are observed, and you’re healthy enough to undergo surgery, your dentist moves forward with treatment.
First, your dentist injects a local anesthetic to numb your gums and tooth roots. Next, your dentist applies a rubber dam to keep your tooth dry and free of debris during the procedure.
After applying the dam, your dentist drills a hole in the infected tooth and gently removes all of the pulp, nerves, and remaining bacteria. Your dentist rinses your root canal with a disinfectant solution and applies a temporary sealant.
A week later, you return to Tustin Dental Center, and Dr. Elgazar fills your root canal with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. After the gutta-percha dries, your dentist affixes a permanent crown.
Thanks to modern pain medications and surgical techniques, root canals are safe and generally well-tolerated. If you have sensitive teeth or a low threshold for pain, let Dr. Elgazar know. The caring team at Tustin Dental Center offers sedation dentistry, which can help you relax and prevent discomfort.
After your root canal, you’ll probably experience some swelling, soreness, and general discomfort. Make sure to follow your dentist’s recovery instructions and avoid biting down or chewing with your treated tooth. Within a week, you should have no problem eating your favorite foods again.
To learn more about root canal treatment and whether or not you’re a candidate, call Tustin Dental Center, or use the online booking tool to request an appointment.