Root canals are a standard dental procedure. Unfortunately, they’re also veiled in myth, causing people to shudder in fear at the mere sound of the words. But advancements in dental technology and anesthetics mean you don’t feel a thing during your root canal. In fact, it’s one of the best options available to stop dental pain and save teeth.
At Madison Family Dental Group in Fair Oaks, California, Dr. Shiva Salehi provides general dentist and endodontic services, including root canals to relieve your mouth pain and stop a tooth’s infection.
If you need a root canal, here’s what you need to know.
The structure of your tooth
To grasp the benefits of a root canal, you should have a basic understanding of a tooth's anatomy. Each tooth has a:
- Thin outer layer of enamel that protects it from most substances
- Thick middle layer of hard dentin, with long roots extending down into your jaw
- Pulpy interior with nerves and blood vessels
The nerves and pulp in a tooth root help teeth grow to maturity. However, adult, or permanent, teeth don’t need them anymore. That’s why if your tooth root pulp gets infected, Dr. Salehi can safely remove it during a root canal.
When a root canal is the best option
During a root canal, Dr. Salehi removes infected or damaged pulp, cleans the inside of your tooth, and then seals it to protect against future damage. Dr. Salehi may recommend this treatment if you have intense pain in your tooth that seems to come in waves or worsens when under pressure or when exposed to cold or hot temperatures.
Without treatment, an infection in your tooth pulp can easily spread to the surrounding gums and soft tissues of your mouth. Worse yet, it can even cause you to lose your tooth. A root canal safely and effectively removes the infection before it reaches that point.
What to expect during a root canal
Before starting your root canal, Dr. Salehi numbs the area so you don’t feel a thing. She uses a small drill to make an opening in your tooth to clean out the infected pulp and reshape your tooth canal. In some cases, she applies medicine in the space to provide additional relief before filling the tooth with a sterile, biocompatible, rubber-like material.
When she finishes treating your tooth, Dr. Salehi covers the opening she made with a temporary dental crown. This seals it against further damage. The whole procedure typically takes two or three visits.
After your first visit, it’s normal to have some residual discomfort, sensitivity, and tingling for a few days, but the source of your original tooth pain is gone for good. Once your permanent crown is ready, you come back to the office to have it placed. Dr. Salehi ensures your teeth and mouth stay healthy during your regular dental exams.
Root canals have a high rate of success, ensuring that you’re pain-free for years to come. Don’t try to live with tooth pain. If you think you need a root canal, call our office today at 916-229-8283 or book your visit online.