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What is a Root Canal?
If a tooth has suffered serious decay, the pulp in the roots of the tooth may become inflamed or infected. If this is the case, a patient may need to undergo a treatment known to most as a “root canal.”
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
When people use the term “root canal,” they are referring to a procedure that is also known as “root canal therapy.” This procedure involves the removal of infection and the restoration of the roots of a patients tooth.
Why Would I Need a Root Canal?
Infections of the roots of a tooth can be extremely painful, and can also pose major concerns to the oral health of a patient. If the damage is not handled, a patient may need to have their tooth extracted, and may need other services performed to ensure their ongoing oral health. While an infection in the roots of a tooth can be caused by decay, it also may be caused by a tooth injury that has led to an infection.
There are a variety of symptoms that the sufferer of a root pulp infection may notice. Some of these include:
- Extreme pain in tooth.
- Swelling of the surrounding gums.
- Pain or discomfort while biting or chewing.
- Changes in the color of the tooth.
- Sensitivity to cold or hot foods.
If you are experiencing any or all of these symptoms, it is important to visit a dentist as soon as you can for them to take a look at the tooth that is affected. If the decay and infection is caught early enough, it may be treatable and the dentist may be able to save the tooth. If left untreated, the tooth may become too damaged to save.
What Is the Procedure Like?
The root canal therapy procedure starts with a trip to the dentist. They will take a look at the tooth, and they will determine what the problem is, and the extent of the damage. If they decide the issue is an infection in the root of the tooth, they will set an appointment for the procedure. During the procedure, your dentist will numb the area, then drill into the tooth to expose the roots. They will then clean the roots. Once the roots are cleaned, they will fill the canals, and secure the tooth with a filling.
Avoiding Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy can be avoided with proper at-home oral care, and with regular trips to the dentist for checkups and cleanings. Some patients may have cavities, but with regular checkups they can find and fix the cavities before decay progresses. For patients with an injury to the tooth, immediate care can stop the growth of bacteria and infection.
Make sure to properly brush, floss and rinse twice a day, and see your dentist every six months for a routine checkup and cleaning. By taking these steps, you’ll be able to prevent the roots of your teeth from becoming infected.
Inquire about root canal therapy at Iowa Dental Group today.
Interested in learning more about root canals? Read More : How Long Do Root Canals Take?
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