Root canals are special procedures designed to treat deep decay that affects the central portion of the tooth, or pulp, that runs from the middle of the tooth down to the root and which contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue to support tooth health. When the pulp becomes damaged from decay, infection or trauma, it needs to be removed in order to avoid losing the tooth.
Root canals are similar to regular fillings, beginning by removing the damaged portion and cleaning out the remaining cavity so it may be filled. Once all the debris has been carefully removed, the canals are sealed to keep bacteria and other material out, and then a special filling material is applied to help support the interior of the tooth and prevent the tooth from breaking. In most cases, a dental crown will also be applied to provide additional support and to hide any discoloration that may occur once the living pulp is removed.
Today’s root canal techniques use advanced methods designed specifically to reduce discomfort. Most patients report little to no discomfort at all during the procedure, and minor discomfort afterward. Local anesthetics and even sedation may be used to help minimize or eliminate pain during the procedure. Pain that occurs afterward can be treated with pain relievers and ice packs applied to the cheek for a few minutes at a time to reduce any possible swelling.
Having an evaluation at the first sign of a toothache or gum pain is the best way to determine if you need a root canal to treat decay and prevent potential tooth loss that can occur when damage to the pulp is not properly treated. The dentists at Smile hub Dental use state-of-the-art techniques and materials to perform cavity filling procedures aimed at restoring and strengthening teeth that have been damaged due to decay, helping adult and pediatric patients in the Greater Seattle Area preserve their healthy, beautiful teeth and avoid additional damage.