What are Root Canals?
Every year, millions of teeth are saved from extraction due to root canals. Inside the tooth, several different layers make up the tooth structure. On the outside is the white enamel, underneath is dentin, and underneath dentin is a soft tissue known as the pulp. The pulp contains nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels and serves the purpose of nourishing growing teeth during adolescence. The pulp extends from the top of the tooth (crown) to the tip of the roots where it connects with tissue that surrounds the root. During a root canal, the pulp is removed. Once the tooth has finished growing, the pulp is no longer needed because the surrounding tissue can nourish the tooth. Your tooth can survive without the pulp.
When are Root Canals Needed?
The main reason a root canal is sometimes necessary is that the pulp of a tooth has become inflamed or infected. Some of the reasons this might occur include the following.
- Untreated cavities that have reached the pulp
- Trauma or injury to a tooth
Signs that you might need a root canal:
- Severe pain when biting or chewing
- Cracked or chipped tooth
- Hot and cold sensitivity that lingers
- Tender or swollen gums
- Darkening of gums
- Pimples on the gums
If you experience any of the signs you need a root canal above, you must visit a dentist as soon as possible. If you leave an infected tooth untreated, it can lead to an abscess or cause the infection to enter the bloodstream and lead to the brain or heart – causing severe health issues such as stroke or heart attack.
Root Canal Procedure
If you suspect a root canal is needed, Dr. Saw or Dr. Luu will first start by taking x-rays of your teeth and completing a physical examination. X-rays will give them a look at what’s going on inside your tooth.
If we discover that you need a root canal to save your tooth, we will start the procedure by numbing up the procedure area. We can also provide you with sedation dentistry if you find it difficult to stay relaxed. Once you’re numb, we will drill a hole in your tooth and use small dental instruments to remove the pulp and clean out and shape the pulp chamber. We will then fill in the chamber with a biocompatible material and adhesive cement to completely seal the root canal. We will then take impressions and create a dental crown using our in-office CEREC and place the dental crown before you leave. In just one appointment, we can save your tooth from extraction and help you feel pain-free again.
Visit Elevated Smiles for Root Canals in Carlsbad
If you need a root canal, Elevated Smiles can help. Don’t extract your natural tooth just because it’s infected. If you can save a tooth successfully, always choose this route. It’s much easier and cheaper to save a tooth than have it extracted and replaced with a dental implant. If you’re looking for pain relief with a root canal, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Saw and Dr. Luu at Elevated Smiles by calling (760) 622-3010 today.