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  • Writer's pictureJackie Morrill-Faucher

Why Root Canals?

When most people hear the term root canal they immediately panic. The truth is, if treated promptly, a root canal is a great way to save a tooth and end your discomfort.

Common root canal symptoms include;

  • Pain, usually hot discomfort and sometimes can be intermittent or constant

  • Swollen, red tissue around the tooth

  • Throbbing or Pressure

  • Facial swelling

  • White draining lesion around the gum line of the tooth (looks like a pimple)

Why are root canals needed?

Teeth are very complex; the center of your tooth is called the pulp, which is filled with nerves and blood vessels.  The pulp can become inflamed or infected; from trauma, decay, cracks in your tooth, or just simply the nerve is dying in that tooth. Once pulp is inflamed or infected you may start to experience some of the above symptoms. The key is to catch these symptoms early as the inflammation or infection will not go away on its own. Antibiotics, if needed, may help to decrease the discomfort but is not a long term treatment. If you choose to ignore this toothache it will lead to more severe pain, tooth loss, and you’re also increasing the risk of it affecting your overall health as your body is fighting the infection.

What is the process?

Many people over think the process of a root canal but it is really pretty simple. Here at Parker River Dental when you come in for your appointment Dr. Davies will administer local anesthesia, this numbs the tooth and tissues around it so you won’t have pain or discomfort during the procedure. Once the area is numb, Dr. Davies will place a rubber dam over the tooth, clean out the tooth and remove the pulp. Once the canals of the tooth are cleaned out, the next step is to fill them back, we use a rubber material called gutta percha, followed by a composite (tooth colored) filling. This procedure is generally done in two appointments. A crown is usually recommended as a follow up 6-8 weeks later as the tooth becomes weak and more susceptible to fracturing once the pulp is removed.

If you experience any of the above symptoms please contact your dentist immediately, they will most likely take an X-ray to evaluate the tooth, bone, ligaments, and nerves. Here at Parker River Dental we have had patients fall sleep in our chair while root canal procedures are being done. The pain and fear associated with root canals is from the infection of the tooth. When the root canal is treated promptly most people never have to experience the severe pain that people associate with them.

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