Root canals have a bad reputation. People usually talk about how painful they are and dreading getting them. But realistically, root canals are actually relieving pain and aren’t bad at all. Dr. Datta, a Sterling, VA dentist, lets you know what you can expect from a root canal and why they’re nothing you have to worry about.
What is a Root Canal Infection?
The root canal is actually the place inside your tooth where the tooth pulp and nerves reside. However, the root canal treatment is needed when this pulp gets infected. This process is often considered a life-saving measure for the tooth and is done to hopefully avoid tooth extraction. Think of it as the middle ground between a dental filling and an extraction.
What Causes a Root Canal?
If tooth decay isn’t treated, it burrows into this natural cavity and soft tissue inside the tooth. It causes an infection, or even an abscess, in that dental pulp. This is what causes the pain people talk about when they discuss a root canal. With an infection comes swelling, and this swelling is contained inside your tooth. A root canal gets rid of this swelling and helps ease the pain you experience.
The Root Canal Process
Our first goal is to make sure that you’re comfortable. If you suffer from dental anxiety, we offer multiple forms of sedation dentistry. You can have nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, to relax you during the procedure. If necessary, IV sedation is also available. Once you’re comfortable and relaxed, your dentist in Sterling, VA can start the procedure.
To begin, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area around the affected tooth. A small hole is then drilled in the back of your tooth. This is to give the dentist access to the tooth pulp inside. All of the infected material is removed from the inside of your tooth. The hollow part inside is thoroughly rinsed and cleaned out.
Once the tooth has been cleaned, the inside is filled with a biocompatible compound. This is to make sure you retain the structural integrity of the tooth. It’s then sealed with a dental crown that’s custom-made for you. A dental crown will allow you to have the full functionality of this tooth after the procedure.
Many patients report that a root canal is similar to getting a dental filling done. Many also report that they had pain relief after the procedure, once the infection is removed. While they may have a reputation, a root canal is a simple procedure, often done in just one visit, that isn’t anything serious.
Root Canals at Your Sterling, Virginia Dentist
Do you have tooth pain that may require a root canal procedure? Don’t wait for the infection and pain to get worse. Call us or schedule an appointment online.