If we asked you to make a list of words that you associate with “root canal,” what would come to mind?
Pain? Anxiety? Pain? Fear? Worry? … Pain?
We understand that the thought of having a root canal treatment can be scary. Root canal treatments have an unfortunate reputation for being painful. We know how people react to the news that they have a tooth infection.
We have seen people who are perfectly comfortable receiving basic dental care become anxious about the possibility of a root canal treatment. We’ve also treated patients with dental anxiety who finally sought help when the pain of an infected tooth became too great for them to bear.
At Highlands Ranch Smiles, we don’t want any patients to be fearful of receiving a root canal procedure. With modern dental techniques, we can remove the infection will little or no pain to you.
If you are struggling with a possible infected tooth today, please contact our dentist office in Highlands Ranch, CO, as soon as possible. And if you should develop the symptoms of an infection later, don’t hesitate to call 720-644-8186 or contact us online.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Tooth Infection?
Root canal treatments are done to remove infections from patients’ teeth. So it’s important to know if you might have an infected tooth.
A tooth becomes infected when bacteria are able to reach the pulp, a soft connective tissue on the inside of each tooth. This can happen as a result of untreated tooth decay or gum disease or as a result of an injury that causes a broken or cracked tooth.
The pulp can be found in the pulp chamber in the center of the tooth and in the root canals, openings in your roots where nerves and blood vessels enter the tooth.
When the bacteria reaches the pulp, it can become infected and inflamed. This can put pressure on the nerves, causing you to experience one or more of the following problems:
▪︎ Sensitivity to heat and cold
▪︎ Sensitivity to sweets
▪︎ Pain when chewing or biting
▪︎ Swollen or tender gum tissue
▪︎ Tooth discoloration
By seeking help as soon as you notice these issues, we would encourage you to make an appointment at Highlands Ranch Smiles.
The longer you let the problem continue, the worse the pain can become. Too often, patients wait until the pain is unbearable before they seek help.
You may save yourself from much of that pain by getting a root canal treatment or another kind of restorative dentistry at the first sign of trouble.
What Happens During A Root Canal Treatment?
It’s important to keep in mind that root canal procedures are done to preserve your tooth and to restore its normal function. When it hurts to bite and chew, you can’t really use your tooth for its intended purpose.
To remove the infection, our dentist will create an opening in the infected tooth and then remove the pulp as well as the blood vessels and nerves. After sanitizing the inside of the tooth, we will fill the tooth with a rubbery material called gutta percha.
The final step is sealing the tooth with a dental filling or dental crown. This both protects against a new infection and allows you to bite and chew comfortably again.
That is the simple explanation for what happens during a root canal treatment, but it doesn’t explain how we can perform this procedure without causing you pain.
That’s what we want to discuss next.
How To Perform A Pain-Free Root Canal
One of the most common causes of dental anxiety is pain — or rather the fear that a particular treatment will be painful. Fortunately, we have ways of addressing that concern before we start your root canal treatment.
This is where sedation dentistry comes into play. With either nitrous oxide or oral sedation, we can put you in a relaxed state where you won’t feel any pain throughout your procedure.
You may feel some soreness as you recover from the root canal, but that should subside after a few days. And that soreness will seem minimal compared to the ongoing pain of an untreated tooth infection.
To learn more or to learn if a root canal treatment or other restorative procedure could help you, please call 720-644-8186 or contact us online. Make your appointment today at our dentist office in Highlands Ranch, CO.