Infected or severely damaged teeth often require root canal therapy to stop the discomfort and return or improve your oral health. At Tulsa Dental Center we make it our mission to ensure patient comfort in all of our treatments, including root canal therapy.
A root canal can help prevent the need for a tooth extraction. Using innovative technology, our team ensures your complete comfort throughout your entire procedure. A root canal can restore the function and health of your tooth, as well as help you regain your confident smile.
If you are in need of a root canal, the team at Tulsa Dental Center can discuss what to expect as well as answer any questions you may have regarding this treatment option.
What is a root canal?
A root canal is commonly used to treat an infection located at the center of a tooth. Designed to help you avoid a tooth extraction, root canals can also help restore health and function to your tooth.
Because of the advancements in modern dentistry, the root canal is no longer a treatment to be feared. Nowadays, root canal therapy is no more uncomfortable than regular dental fillings, and is a relatively quick treatment process.
Reasons for a root canal treatment
When a tooth infection occurs in the center of a tooth (the root canal), bacteria is most definitely involved. This bacterium lives in the mouth, and once it finds a way to invade a tooth, infection is inevitable. Infection typically occurs after any of the following:
- Inadequate fillings
- Damage to the tooth from a trauma
- Tooth decay
A tooth is made up of the crown and the root. The crown is the visible part of the tooth, while the root extends into the jawbone, anchoring the tooth into its position. The root canal contains a soft tissue at the center of the tooth. This tissue is known as dental pulp. Dental pulp extends from the crown to the end of the root.
When Is a Root Canal Treatment Needed?
When a dental x-ray indicates infection has caused damage to the dental pulp, a root canal is necessary. Infection causes the pulp to slowly die, allowing bacteria to develop further and spread.
Symptoms of an infection of the dental pulp include:
- Pain when chewing or biting
- Pain when consuming cold or hot food or drinks
- A loose tooth
Once an infection has begun, symptoms sometimes lessen. This isn’t actually an indication that things are getting better, it’s an indication that the infection has likely spread to the root canal system. Symptoms of a prolonged infection include:
- Facial swelling
- Pain (again) when chewing or biting
- Pus oozing from the tooth
- Gums swelling near infected tooth
- Darkening in color of the tooth
Any type of toothache should be addressed by your dentist. In the case of infection, the pulp isn’t able to heal on its own. The longer an infection is left to fester, the more difficult it is to ensure a successful root canal treatment.
Does a root canal hurt?
Patient comfort is the top priority at Tulsa Dental Center. Our team is equipped to keep you comfortable during whatever treatment you require, whether that’s a routine checkup, a filling, a dental implant, or even a root canal. Most of our patients describe the level of discomfort of a root canal as similar to the level of discomfort with a regular dental filling.
What does a root canal treatment involve?
To successfully treat an infected root canal, the bacteria must be removed. This is only possible via root canal treatment or a tooth extraction.
Tooth extraction is typically a last resort, as it is considered most beneficial to retain as many of your natural teeth as possible.
Before your root canal treatment, you’ll be given a local anesthetic. Your dentist will then remove the bacteria, fill the canal, and seal the tooth, either with a dental filling or a dental crown. 90% of the time, local inflammation will heal on its own, and many root canal-treated teeth can survive for a lifetime if taken care of properly.
If you are considering a root canal treatment or experiencing any of the symptoms we have outlined on this page, please contact our team to make an appointment as soon as possible.
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