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Get a Practically Painless Root Canal

When your dentist refers to the term “root canal,” they typically are referring to the treatment itself. However, it also refers to the area inside the tooth that is being treated, irrigated and disinfected when damaged by decay and infection. Keep in mind that root canals themselves are not inherently painful. In reality, not getting your infection treated is what causes the most pain, while root canals work to relieve it. If you’re experiencing severe tooth pain, it’s imperative that you contact our office to schedule an appointment with a dentist in Medford today!

When is a Root Canal Needed?

A man smiling at his dental appointment.

Root canals can be needed for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is long-term decay that has penetrated the enamel and dentin layers of teeth, eventually reaching the vulnerable pulp in the center. This results in significant pain and sensitivity. In other cases, a tooth may have sustained damage from a bad fall or sports injury. This causes the tooth to crack or chip, allowing oral bacteria to reach the inner tooth that way.

In rare cases, an especially large dental filling can fall out or wedge teeth apart enough to reduce the seal meant to protect teeth from bacteria. If you had a recent dental procedure that solved tooth pain initially but then reappeared, it’s critical that you get back to the dentist to seek retreatment.

Do You Need a Root Canal?

A dentist working on a computer.

Keep in mind that not all tooth pain is a sign that you need a root canal. Therefore, it’s key that you keep the following symptoms in mind prior to your dental visit. The more information you provide of your symptoms, the better your dentist can treat you.

The most common symptoms of the need for a root canal include:

  • Severe teeth pain, especially when biting down or applying pressure
  • Small pimple-like growths or bumps on the gums or near the tooth in question
  • Darkening of the tooth that is typically dark yellow, brown, black or grey in color
  • Swelling or tenderness in the gums or near the tooth in pain
  • Increased sensitivity to hot or cold that lingers after the substance is taken away from the mouth

What is the Procedure for a Root Canal?

A woman holding her cheek and looking at her dentist.

To start, your dentist will take an X-ray in order to confirm the problem and determine its exact location. Once they’ve planned out the surgery, they’ll numb the area surrounding the tooth to make you feel as comfortable as possible. If you need sedation dentistry to be made more comfortable, ask your dentist about this treatment as well.

Once prepped, he’ll create a small hole in the crown of the tooth in order to access the inside, then clear out any infected or damaged pulp and nerve tissue. Once they’ve irrigated the tooth and applied any antibiotic agents as needed to prevent future infection, they’ll fill the inner tooth with a rubber compound meant to replace the pulp and nerve tissue removed.

Finally, a filling is placed inside the initial hole created and a temporary crown is placed on top. This effectively seals off the tooth from bacteria while a permanent crown is being made. Once fabricated, you’ll come back to have your temporary crown replaced.

If you’re experiencing symptoms related to a root canal, don’t hesitate to contact our office today to get a root canal in Medford performed!