Common Questions About Root Canals

Are you one of the many dental patients who hears the words “root canal” and is filled with dread? You’re not alone! The root canal is one of the most commonly feared dental procedures, but you may be surprised to know that they aren’t as bad as you think. Montclair, CA dentists Montclair Plaza Dental Group wants patients to understand root canals so they can overcome their fear of them.

What is a Root Canal?

Understanding a procedure often helps reduce anxiety surrounding it. The root canal treatment is necessary when tissues inside the tooth, called “pulp,” become infected. Deep decay, such as cavities, or a chip or crack on the tooth surface can lead to an infection inside the tooth. This infection can spread down through the root canals of the teeth into the gum tissues, forming a painful abscess that must be treated. The root canal involves removing the infected tissue and sealing the tooth to prevent further infection.

When Do I Need a Root Canal?

But when do you need a root canal? You might notice some of the following signs it’s time to see your dentist:

  • Sensitivity to hot and cold in one specific tooth
  • Sensitivity to touch or while chewing
  • Inflammation around the tooth
  • Electric sensation when eating sweet foods
  • Toothache that requires over-the-counter pain relievers

What Happens During A Root Canal

Patient comfort and safety is our priority, so when treatment begins you will be given enough numbing solution to prevent pain. Once you are numb, your dentist drills down into the infected tooth to remove the infected pulp from inside the tooth and root canals. Adult teeth do not require the pulp to be intact in all teeth as the tooth will continue receiving nutrients from surrounding tissues.

Next, the tooth is filled with a biocompatible material to fill the space where the pulp once was. In some cases where tooth decay has made the tooth unstable, a tiny medal rod may be placed to hold the tooth in place in the gums.

After the tooth is filled, the restoration process can begin. A custom-fitted crown is placed on top of your tooth to permanently seal it against future decay. This crown is matched to the natural hue of your teeth so you will be unable to detect it once your tooth has healed. After a few days, you will be able to chew, speak, and smile normally without discomfort and infection.

Why The Bad Reputation?

Many people avoid root canals due to the belief that the procedure will be painful or because they may have heard of complications from the procedure. Root canals may have been painful decades ago but with our modern technology and anesthetics, the procedure is similar to having a filling placed. As far as the horror stories there was a myth propagated by poor research about a hundred years ago that root canal treatment led to you being susceptible to illnesses and disease. However, this was before the causes of these diseases and their transmission was fully understood.

Comfortable Root Canal Treatment in Montclair, CA

Root canals are used to prevent the need for a tooth extraction. This helpful procedure is hardly anything to be afraid of, and we are dedicated to patient education to help you understand your oral health. If you are concerned about your smile, reach out to Montclair Plaza Dental group by requesting an appointment online or calling our new patient line at 909-281-3624.