It’s time we had a talk. You are old enough to understand.
Root canal treatments are nothing to be worried about. It would be better if you never need one, but if you do, it’s not the worst thing in the world.
Really, they aren’t that bad.
We realize you may have a bad impression of root canals based on something you heard or how the procedure has been portrayed in movies. In truth, it’s closer to getting a big filling than what you might believe.
At Highlands Ranch Smiles, our dentists want you to have the most comfortable experience you can. That’s true whether you are getting a cleaning, a cosmetic procedure, or, yes, a root canal treatment.
We want to remind you what you can do to avoid a tooth infection. We also want you to get a better idea what happens during a root canal procedure so you won’t be as worried if you ever do need one.
The best way to avoid needing a root canal treatment is to practice good oral hygiene.
The bacteria that create plaque and cause both gum disease and tooth decay live inside your mouth. Every day they multiply, which is why you need to brush and floss every day to remove them.
As a reminder, you should brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. It’s important to scrub your teeth on all sides and to brush your tongue, too.
Now matter how carefully you brush, there are places you can’t clean with a toothbrush. Flossing is how to clean between your teeth and between your teeth and your gums.
These are the basic steps you need to follow to remove as many bacteria as possible from your mouth. This is why you need to visit Highlands Ranch Smiles for routine cleanings and examinations, too. During those appointments, we will remove any plaque or tartar buildup that may have developed.
We’ll also check for signs of tooth decay and gum disease. If we can treat them early, this will reduce your risk for having an infected tooth.
The infections that lead to the need for a root canal treatment often start with cavities or gum disease. The longer those are allowed to progress, the more likely bacteria are to reach the inside of your tooth (the pulp chamber or the root canals), where the soft pulp can become inflamed.
Since you have nerves (and blood vessels) in the inside of your tooth, this is when you may notice increased sensitivity to hot and cold or a toothache that keeps getting worse.
Dealing With Infections
You may have figured out already that a root canal is a part of your tooth. A root canal treatment is done to remove the infection from the innermost parts of your tooth.
Here’s what you can expect if you learn that you have an infected tooth.
First and foremost, we will assure that you don’t feel any pain during the procedure. We may numb your tooth and the surrounding tissue, or you can ask about our sedation options. Either way, you can rest assured that the procedure will be pain-free.
Once you are numb or sedated, we will create an opening in the infected tooth so we can remove the infected pulp along with the nerves and the blood vessels in your tooth. We will clean and sanitize the inside of the tooth to remove any remaining bacteria.
After this, we will fill the tooth with a special material. This helps your tooth retain its shape, and it reduces your risk of a new infection.
The next step will depend on how much of an opening was needed to complete the root canal treatment. We may be able to restore the appearance of your tooth with a white filling, or we may create a dental crown to seal the inside of the tooth.
As you recover, you will notice the toothache and tooth pain you had been experiencing have gone away, and your tooth will look and function like it should.
Learning To Love Root Canals
OK, maybe that’s taking it a bit too far, even for us. Root canal procedures are done only when they are needed to remove an infection and to end the pain you may experiencing.
Our dentists want your mouth to stay as healthy as possible at Highlands Ranch Smiles. If you think you may need a root canal treatment or you want to prevent one, make an appointment by calling 720-644-8186 or by filling out our online form.