What is a
A root canal is a common endodontic procedure that is used by dentists in order to preserve a patient’s natural tooth. Within each tooth is a collection of nerves, known as pulp, that can sustain decay or become infected. When this occurs, your Cranberry, PA, endodontist may determine that a root canal is the best course of action.
Will I Always Experience Pain From an Infection?
The infection of the nerves can be very painful, especially if the infection spreads to the surrounding areas of the tooth, causing the development of abscesses. While discomfort is common, the absence of pain does not necessarily mean that all is well and good. In fact, many infections can be what is known as asymptomatic, meaning that you have no symptoms of a problem at all.
It is all too common for decay and infection to go unnoticed for long periods of time. The truth is, it can sometimes take awhile for these issues to cause pain that would prompt a person to go to the dentist for a check-up. Unfortunately, this often means that the problem has spread and become more severe. This is why routine oral care is so crucial. Seeing the dentist on a regular basis can help you to keep your teeth healthy and to avoid any major, potential painful issues in the future.
The Procedure Itself
If your dentist determines that you have a root canal infection, he or she will likely schedule you for a root canal as soon as possible. The procedure consists of removing the nerves in the tooth, cleaning the interior of the tooth to remove any decay and bacteria, placing a compound in the now empty space, and sealing the area to create a seemingly intact tooth. Before beginning the procedure, the endodontist will likely determine the extent of the problem with an X-ray. After you have been anesthetized, the dentist will perform the procedure and then, if necessary, schedule another appointment for a follow-up.
The Importance of Receiving the Procedure in a Timely Fashion
While root canals are hardly pleasant procedures, not undergoing the procedure when necessary can have devastating effects. If the proper oral care is not sought quickly, the infection of the nerves in the tooth can spread to other areas of the mouth and can cause eventual swelling in the neck and face. The end result could be tooth loss or, in very severe cases, even the loss of a part of the jaw.
Avoiding Infection Altogether
The key to avoiding decay and infection is regular at-home oral care as well as professional preventative care from a qualified dentist. Oral care is a lifelong responsibility, and the American Dental Association recommends that individuals of all ages make an appointment to receive routine care at least once every six months. Seeing your dental provider on a regular basis will help you to catch any issues early and correct the problem before a root canal is required.