Root canals are something that many people tend to fear. But people often don’t realize what root canals are and what they do. Dr. Marvin N. Kaplan, a dentist in Cincinnati, OH, explains the root canal process and why they aren’t something that you should be afraid of.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is technically a part of your tooth. It’s the hollow part in the center of the tooth that holds the nerves and dental pulp. However, when people are discussing a root canal, they’re usually talking about a root canal procedure. This is done when the dental pulp is infected, swelling and pushing against the outside of the tooth. A root canal procedure takes care of that infection.
How Do I Know if I Need a Root Canal?
Some people may not notice any symptoms of an infection in their tooth. It’s something that may only be noticed by your Cincinnati, Ohio dentist during a routine checkup. However, other people experience a variety of symptoms. One of the most common is sudden or sharp tooth pain, particularly when chewing or biting.
You may also notice that your tooth has a particular sensitivity to hot or cold foods that lasts a while. The gums around the tooth may be swollen and inflamed. Your tooth may also appear discolored and darker than normal because of the infection that’s inside.
The Root Canal Process
To start, your dentist will diagnose and confirm the infection in your tooth, during a routine appointment or one you make because of your concerns. A separate appointment will be scheduled for your root canal.
The procedure starts with Dr. Kaplan drilling a small hole in the back of the tooth. This allows the dentist to clean out the infected material inside the tooth with a special tool. The inside of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned out to make sure no infected material is left. The tooth is filled with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha to stabilize the tooth. It’s sealed with a dental filling to prevent any further infection.
To complete the procedure, a custom dental crown is made to go over the tooth. This helps keep the tooth stable and gives you back full function in it. The dental crown is crafted to blend in seamlessly with the rest of your teeth. The color, shape, and size will be matched, and the crown is made of a material that matches the sheen of natural teeth.
Patients say that a root canal doesn’t feel like much more than a dental filling. A local anesthetic is always used to make you more comfortable. The pain associated with a root canal is actually the pain of the infection pressing against the tooth. Many patients say that a root canal actually relieves the pain, as the pressure is relieved.
Root Canals at Your Cincinnati, Ohio Dentist
Root canals don’t have to be something you should fear. Call us or schedule an appointment online for a checkup.