What is root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is a dental procedure that Dr. Jodry performs to save a tooth that is badly damaged by trauma or infection.
Root canal treatments target the pulp, which is a soft substance that contains connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels. The pulp lives in the innermost layer of the tooth called the pulp chamber and extends down to the tooth roots through the root canal.
Trauma can expose sensitive tooth nerves, or open a door for bacteria to reach the deeper layers of the tooth. Infection can lead to abscesses.
During a root canal, Dr. Jodry relieves your symptoms and preserves your tooth by removing the infected and inflamed pulp, cleaning and disinfecting the space, and sealing it with filling material.
What symptoms signal the need for a root canal?
The following symptoms are common reasons for requiring a root canal:
- Severe pain when you chew or bite
- Tooth sensitivity to heat and cold, even after you remove the source of discomfort
- Tender or swollen gums
- Darkening gums
- Deep decay in your gums
- Pimples on the gums
- Tooth discoloration
- Persistent bad breath
You can also experience these sorts of symptoms during tooth death.
How does root canal treatment work?
To determine if root canal treatment is right for you, Dr. Jodry examines your mouth and takes X-rays. If she decides that a root canal can save your tooth and relieve your pain, she performs the procedure.
If you’re anxious about root canal treatment, ask Dr. Jodry about sedation dentistry. She offers local sedation, or nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”), to relax you and alleviate your fears.
Before starting root canal treatment, Dr. Jodry numbs the work area with local anesthesia. Then, she makes a tiny hole in your tooth enamel that reaches through to the root canal.
There, she removes your tooth nerve, cleans out the infected or damaged pulp, and removes any other debris or decay that she sees. Once she’s finished, Dr. Jodry dries your tooth and seals it with a rubber material called gutta-percha. This prevents further damage and recurring decay.
To protect your tooth and restore its strength, she completes your treatment by filling your tooth or placing a crown over it.
Does root canal treatment hurt?
For years, people have used root canals similes to describe excruciating pain. However, the truth is that root canals simply aren’t scary anymore.
Modern root canal treatment is nearly painless, and on top of that, they provide nearly instantaneous relief to your tooth pain.
After root canal treatment, your tooth may be sore for a few days. However, you can treat these side effects with over-the-counter pain medication, and you can also resume your regular activities immediately after your treatment.
If you think you have a tooth infection or tooth damage that’s leading to tooth death, don’t let the fear of root canal treatment keep you from seeking help. Take the first step by scheduling a visit with Kathryn Jodry, DDS, by calling the office or using the online booking tool.