Root canal therapy is one of the most common general dentistry treatments, with millions of procedures performed each year to help people avoid pain and discomfort while maintaining healthy teeth. At Anderson Lake Dental Clinic in Eden Prairie, MN, a root canal is performed in a highly safe and clean environment by licensed endodontists dentists.
Our teeth are made up of enamel, dentine, cementum, and dental pulp. The dental pulp, which contains tissues, nerves, and blood vessels, is located in the center of the tooth. When bacteria infect a tooth, the pulp rots and must be removed as soon as possible before it spreads to neighboring teeth and causes agonizing pain.
The only way to treat rotten pulp before modern dentistry was to extract the tooth from its root. However, thanks to cutting-edge modern technology and dentistry, the infected pulp can now be removed by a simple and effective root canal treatment that not only saves the natural tooth but also helps avoid future dental expenses.
Symptoms That You May Need Root Canal Treatment
If you are unsure whether you need root canal treatment, look for the following symptoms:
- Severe pain in the infected tooth during biting or chewing
- Persistent sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages
- Swollen or tender gums near the infected tooth
- A loose tooth
- Pus or abscess oozing from the infected tooth
- Pimples on the gums
If the decaying pulp is not treated, it can spread the infection, resulting in:
- Severe decay
- Discolored or darker teeth and gums
- A chipped or fractured tooth
Suffering from any of these symptoms necessitates an emergency visit with your general dentist to determine what is wrong with your tooth and how to successfully treat it to ease the painful symptoms.
What Does A Root Canal Procedure Entail?
The root canal procedure, thanks to modern science and technology, is a very easy endodontic treatment that can be done in one or two visits to the dentist's office. Since anesthesia is administered throughout the procedure, it is painless.
A root canal procedure is carried out in the following steps:
- First, the endodontist will perform an X-ray to determine the severity of the problem and the location of the infection.
- Anesthesia is then administered to numb the area around the affected tooth, and a dental dam, a thin protective covering, is placed to keep the area clean and saliva-free.
- The endodontist now drills a hole in the infected tooth to gain access to the pulp chamber and remove the decaying pulp, which contains germs and decayed nerves.
- The pulp chamber is then extensively cleansed with root canal files, a surgical instrument used to remove damaged material from the tooth.
- After cleaning the chamber, the endodontist fills the root canal with a biocompatible material – a rubber-like material known as gutta-percha – to prevent reinfection.
- The gutta-percha is then sealed with an adhesive cement substance to ensure complete root canal sealing.
- A permanent restorative dental crown, similar to a filling, is then placed on the tooth to shut the access hole. In some cases, a temporary filling can be used to protect the tooth and restore its complete function before being replaced by a permanent one.
By having this procedure, you can prevent the infection from spreading to your other teeth, improve both your oral and overall health, and have teeth that not only seem natural but are also cost-effective.
Is Root Canal Safe?
Although some people still regard root canal treatment as painful and frightening, the American Dental Association recommends it as a safe and effective dental treatment for relieving intolerable pain and avoiding future oral health complications. According to an article published in the European Journal of Dentistry (EJD), the root canal has a success rate ranging from 86% to 98%.
Post-Operative Care for the Root Canal Therapy
After, a root canal, slight pain, and discomfort are normal to experience as the root canal causes inflammation near the root end. Thankfully, the pain will eventually fade away.
The following post-operative care for root canal therapy is recommended to maintain healthy and infection-free teeth after root canal treatment:
- Avoid chewing or biting on hard food items during the first few days to allow the tooth to settle easily.
- Maintain proper oral hygiene by brushing twice a day, flossing regularly, and visiting the dentist for regular checkups.
- Avoid smoking or limit your intake for a few days.
- Take over-the-counter pain killers such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen if the pain becomes unbearable.
- Swollen gums are a common side effect of a root canal. To reduce swelling, rinse your mouth with a salt and water solution.
- Avoid strenuous activities that can hurt your tooth while it heals.
How Anderson Lake Dental Can Help?
Anderson Lake Dental Clinic is a well-known Eden Prairie, MN dental clinic that offers all dental services in a comfortable environment. We have a team of endodontists who can offer you a consultation and help you decide whether a root canal is necessary for you to keep a healthy and beautiful smile.