If you have been told that you need a root canal or “endodontic therapy,” you may have questions about this common procedure. At Eastport Dental in Mesa, AZ, Dr. Huynh is here to answer all your questions and put your mind at ease. Here are some common questions that people ask about root canal treatment.
What is a root canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure that removes the infected or damaged pulp from the inside of a tooth. The pulp is the soft tissue that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. When the pulp is damaged or infected, it can cause pain and swelling. A root canal cleans and seals off the entire nerve chamber, sort of like a “root filling.” This prevents reinfection and preserves your tooth.
Why do I need a root canal?
You may need a root canal if you have a deep cavity, cracked tooth, or trauma to the tooth. When the pulp becomes damaged or infected, it can cause pain, swelling, and even an abscess. A root canal is necessary to remove the infected or damaged pulp and save the tooth from extraction. Filling or crowning the tooth will not address the nerve tissue, so it could trap the infection inside unless you have a root canal too.
Does a root canal hurt?
Contrary to popular belief, a root canal is not a painful procedure. Dr. Huynh will use local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth, so you will not feel any pain during the procedure. It feels similar to getting a crown or large filling, with a little pressure during the appointment. After the procedure, you may experience some mild discomfort or sensitivity, but this can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. We also offer the option of dental sedation during your treatment to help you enjoy maximum relaxation!
Is a root canal safe?
Yes, a root canal is a safe and effective procedure meant to help you avoid tooth loss or extraction. Dr. Huynh has years of experience performing root canals and uses the latest techniques and technology to ensure the procedure is safe and successful.
How long does a root canal take?
A root canal typically takes one to two hours to complete, depending on the complexity of the case. Some teeth have more roots than others, which affects the total treatment time. Dr. Huynh will give you an estimate of how long the procedure will take before it begins.
What happens during a root canal?
During a root canal, Dr. Huynh will numb the area around the tooth with local anesthesia. He will then create a small opening in the top of the tooth to access the pulp chamber. Using special tools, he will remove the infected or damaged pulp and clean the inside of the tooth. Once the tooth is cleaned and disinfected, Dr. Huynh will fill it with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha or similar material. He will then seal the tooth with a filling or crown to protect it from further damage.
Do I need a crown after a root canal?
In most cases, a crown is necessary after a root canal to protect the tooth from further damage. A crown is a custom-made cap that covers the entire tooth, providing strength and protection. Dr. Huynh will discuss the need for a crown with you before the procedure begins.
How long does a root canal last?
With proper care, a root canal can last a lifetime. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly and visiting Dr. Huynh for regular checkups and cleanings. Even though your tooth is no longer alive, it’s still susceptible to things like cavities or gum disease; plan to clean it as you would any other tooth.
What are the alternatives to a root canal?
The only alternative to a root canal is tooth extraction. If the infected or damaged tooth is not treated, it can lead to more serious dental problems and even affect your overall health. It is important to save the tooth whenever possible to maintain your oral health and prevent further complications. Treating the infection with an antibiotic will only help temporarily; without a root canal, the infection will continue to come back.
At Eastport Dental in Mesa, AZ, Dr. Huynh is committed to providing you with the best possible care and results. If you have more questions about root canal treatment or would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today. We look forward to helping you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.