The words “root canal” have become almost synonymous with “horribly unpleasant experience.” But despite their bad reputation, root canals today are actually very similar to getting a regular filling. If you’re one of the millions of people who needs endodontic treatment to save your teeth, rest easy—we’ll do everything we can to make sure you’re comfortable.
Why do I need a root canal?
A tooth is composed of three basic layers: on the outside is the hard white surface called enamel, below is another hard layer called dentin, and below that is a core of soft tissue called pulp. Pulp contains blood vessels and nerves, and is necessary for a tooth’s growth and development. But once the tooth is mature, the pulp is no longer necessary. It can, however, become infected due to decay or to a crack in the tooth. When this happens, it becomes painful and may even cause an abscess. To save the tooth, an endodontist might need to perform a root canal.
What happens during a root canal?
First, Dr. Goldberg creates an opening in the top of the tooth and removes the infected pulp, and then cleans the empty canal. He then fills the space with a safe, rubberlike material and seals it. In a separate procedure, we will place a crown on the tooth to protect it and make it look as good as new. It then works just like any other tooth.
With the help of anesthesia, root canals can be performed with very little pain. Many patients feel comfortable during the procedure. Immediately after the procedure, your tooth might feel sensitive, but this sensitivity can often be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medication.
What happens after the root canal?
Your tooth will function just like any other tooth after your root canal (though you shouldn’t use the tooth for chewing until after the crown is placed on it). Many patients are able to return to their normal routine the day after the procedure. Most teeth treated with a root canal last a lifetime, and the procedure has a high rate of success.
Like any surgery, a root canal can cause some discomfort. But when completed, it will spare you from further tooth pain due to decay and abscess, and can save you from losing the tooth altogether.
Still nervous about root canals? Rely on the top-quality care we provide at Dental Partners of Boston, some of the best dentists for the job. Contact us today to discuss your options.