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What is a Root Canal Procedure?

Published on January 7, 2016

Tooth decay, dental disease, and trauma to the face are just some of the reasons a tooth may become infected and require a root canal. Indications that you have developed an infection include:

  • One or more of your teeth causes constant throbbing pain
  • The pain worsens when you drink a beverage not at room temperature or bite into your food
  • The pain worsens when you stand up or lie down
  • You notice swelling of your neck or face
  • You have bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth despite brushing and using mouthwash regularly
  • The painful tooth looks darker than your other teeth
  • You notice a pus-filled sac formation on or near your gum line

The last point is especially important because pus leaking from underneath a tooth can damage the supporting bone and cause a tooth abscess. This extremely painful condition is a dental emergency requiring prompt treatment. We encourage you to contact Alpha Dental about any new, unusual, or worsening symptoms so we can evaluate the problem right away. Because some patients have an infected tooth without experiencing pain or any other symptoms, it’s also important to keep up with your bi-annual cleaning appointments. Dr. Pasha and Dr. Ahmed occasionally spot tooth infections during a routine exam and schedule a root canal to treat them.

What Happens During a Root Canal?

Some patients feel anxious about getting a root canal because they have heard that it’s painful. They may also feel confused and ask, “What is a root canal procedure?” First, we’d like to put your mind at ease by letting you know that most people who have had root canals say they didn’t find them especially uncomfortable. Dental technology has advanced rapidly to make having a root canal as fast and pain-free as possible.

To prepare you for the process, your dentist numbs the affected tooth and surrounding gums. Removing the infected pulp from the tooth root comes next. Once this is complete, Dr. Pasha or Dr. Ahmed cleans your tooth from the inside and then surrounds the tooth with a sealant to prevent bacteria from invading it. The last step involves having a crown placed on the tooth that received the root canal. This helps to keep it strong as well as acts as an additional guard against infection. It also allows for normal chewing once the procedure is complete.

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