Perhaps the most infamous dental procedure, the root canal does not have the best reputation among patients. While root canals may have been painful decades ago, modern medicine has made great advances. In reality, a root canal is a standard dental procedure that is no more painful than having a cavity filled, and it only requires local anesthetic.
Inside a tooth’s natural root cavity is soft tissue called the pulp. Sometimes, the pulp can become damaged or infected and will require a root canal. During the procedure, the infected pulp is removed, and the tooth is cleaned and disinfected to prevent further decay. The tooth is then filled and sealed or capped with a crown. The area surrounding the tooth is numbed throughout the entire procedure, so you won’t feel a thing.
Deep cavities, a cracked tooth, or a tooth that has had repeated dental treatment may all require a root canal to fix. Some root canals can be completed in a single visit, while others might need about a week between cleaning and sealing to allow medication to clear up any infection. You can opt to wait on a root canal, but it will only make the damage worse. Without proper treatment, an infected tooth will eventually cause extreme discomfort, and you may need a more invasive—and expensive—procedure like a tooth extraction and a dental implant.
If your dentist suspects decay or damage to one of your teeth, X-rays will determine the extent of damage and how urgent a root canal is. Always discuss your treatment with your dentist so you can minimize your visits to the dentist office and maintain a healthy smile.
Dr. Michael L. Kinsley, DMD and his skilled team are dedicated to providing quality dental care to their patients in Perry, Georgia. They perform everything from bi-annual teeth cleaning to cosmetic dentistry to more complex surgical procedures. To schedule your appointment, call (478) 987-1441 today. Visit them online to learn more about all the dental services they offer.