Does hearing that you need a root canal makes you feel anxious? If so, you’re not alone. Many Mesa, Arizona patients that first come to Eastport Dental are very apprehensive about getting root canal treatment because of the horror stories they’ve heard in the past. But understanding the root canal process and what to expect while you’re in the treatment chair will help to put your mind at ease.
Root canals are meant to preserve a healthy smile, not cause discomfort!
When Is A Root Canal Needed?
First you should understand why it is that you need to have root canal treatment. Here are the most common reasons:
- Deep Decay 一 The outermost part of your tooth is the enamel, under this layer is the dentin, followed by the deepest part of your tooth which is the pulp, or nerve. When a cavity begins to form, it starts on the outside of your tooth. Small cavities can be fixed by placing a filling on the tooth, larger cavities may need a crown, but the deepest cavities 一 the ones that have reach the nerve 一 will need root canal treatment.
- Tooth Abscess 一 A dental abscess is an infected tooth which typically occurs when decay has reached the nerve tissue. In some instances, abscesses can occur due to other traumatic injuries to your tooth.
- Fractured Tooth 一 If a tooth is cracked, or broken close to the nerve, a root canal will be needed to prevent pain.
What Is A Root Canal?
The first step to having a root canal performed is to remove the decay or cracked portion of the tooth. Then our Mesa dentist will access the pulp and use special instruments to clean out all of the damaged tissue from within the nerve canals. Once this step is complete, we’ll disinfect the canals and place a sealant material inside of them to help prevent bacteria from reaching the area.
Do Root Canals Hurt?
Most Mesa root canal patients fear that they will feel uncomfortable during their endodontic procedure. Fortunately, they are always relieved to learn how smoothly the procedure actually goes.
Prior to beginning the treatment, we’ll administer plenty of local anesthetic (numbing medication) to the tooth being worked on. You’ll feel very numb and won’t experience any discomfort throughout your root canal treatment.
You may feel some pressure as we remove the nerve tissue from the canals, but there shouldn’t be any sharp pain. If you feel uncomfortable at any point during your treatment, all you have to do is raise your hand as a signal and we’ll stop immediately to administer you more anesthetic.
How Long Does A Root Canal Treatment Take?
There are a few different factors that may affect the amount of time that it takes our Mesa dentist to complete your procedure.
The amount of decay that needs to be removed plays a part in this process, as does the number of roots that your tooth has. Each root has a nerve canal in it that needs to be addressed. Front teeth have just a single root, premolars have two, and molars have anywhere from 3-4 roots. Obviously, the more nerve canals that there are to clean out, disinfect, and fill back in 一 the longer the procedure will be.
Another factor that may affect the amount of time it takes to complete your root canal therapy is the condition of the nerve tissue itself. When a nerve canal collects calcium deposits you end up with a shrunken pathway that can be more time consuming to access and clean out.
Long-Term Benefits of Root Canal Therapy
Undergoing root canal therapy can prolong the function of your tooth by decades. Choosing to save your teeth when problems occur results in an overall healthier mouth and better quality of life. If you’re told that you need a root canal but you decide not to get one, typically your only other option is to remove the tooth entirely. Having missing teeth causes the ones that remain to work harder, which can result in more unnecessary damage brought on by the stresses of biting and chewing.
Not All Root Canals Are Created Equal
Root canal therapy is a dental procedure that you want to leave to the most experienced dentists. You get just that when you visit Dr. Vinh Huynh, DMD of Eastport Dental in Mesa, AZ. Our standard of care is unmatched by others, so if you’re looking for an amazing team that can take care of all of your dental needs in one location, give us a call today.