A root canal is a dental procedure that treats the infected nerves of a tooth. There are several reasons why a tooth may require a root canal, such as a large cavity, crack or trauma. Symptoms can include constant or spontaneous throbbing, sensitivity to cold, abscess or pus drainage from the affected area.
A majority of root canals at our office are completed in two visits. The first appointment will involve removing the infected nerve tissue and disinfecting the interior of the tooth. An antibiotic paste will be applied inside the root canal and left in place for about a week. If you are completely asymptomatic for that week, the second visit will involve finishing the root canal with a sterile inert material called gutta percha. It is highly recommended that a tooth that has undergone a root canal is fitted with a crown afterwards. This will greatly improve the strength and long-term prognosis of the tooth.
"Root canal" has become a scary term for patients to hear but the benefits of the procedure and advances in dental technology have made it much less daunting. Local anesthetics and proper pain medication allow the procedure to be performed with little to no pain in most cases. There may be some soreness following the procedure but over the counter painkillers are usually enough to relieve any pain afterwards. If you have any questions about root canals, please contact us at (979) 543-2737.