What is a root canal?

Root canals are a dental treatment that is often misunderstood and feared by many people including some of our patients right here in Cloverdale Surrey BC. However, this treatment can be a vital way to save a damaged or infected tooth and avoid the need for more invasive procedures such as extraction. In this blog post, we will discuss what a root canal is, why it is needed, and what to expect during and after the procedure.

root canal dental cloverdale surrey bc

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a dental treatment that involves removing the damaged or infected pulp from inside a tooth. The pulp is the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. When the pulp becomes damaged or infected, it can cause severe pain and sensitivity and can even lead to an abscess (a painful, pus-filled swelling) if left untreated.

During a root canal procedure, the dentist or endodontist (a specialist in treating the inside of teeth) will remove the pulp from the tooth, clean out the root canals, and fill them with a biocompatible material. The tooth is then sealed with a filling or crown to prevent further infection and damage.

Why is a Root Canal Needed?

A root canal is needed when the pulp inside a tooth becomes damaged or infected. This can happen for several reasons, including:

  • Deep decay or a large cavity that reaches the pulp
  • A cracked or fractured tooth that exposes the pulp
  • Trauma to the tooth that damages the pulp
  • Repeated dental procedures on the same tooth that irritate the pulp

If the damaged or infected pulp is not removed, the infection can spread to the surrounding bone and tissue and cause further complications. In severe cases, the tooth may need to be extracted to prevent the infection from spreading to other teeth or parts of the body.

What to Expect During and After a Root Canal

Before the procedure, the dentist or endodontist will numb the area around the tooth with local anesthesia. They may also offer sedation to help you relax during the procedure.

During the procedure, the dentist or endodontist will make a small hole in the top of the tooth to access the pulp. They will use small instruments to remove the pulp and clean out the root canals. This process may take one or more appointments depending on the complexity of the case.

After the procedure, you may experience some pain and sensitivity for a few days. The dentist or endodontist may prescribe pain medication or recommend over-the-counter pain relievers to manage any discomfort. You should also avoid chewing on the treated tooth until it has been fully restored with a filling or crown.

In most cases, a tooth that has undergone a root canal can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. This includes practicing good oral hygiene habits such as brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.

In conclusion, a root canal can be an essential way to save a damaged or infected tooth and avoid more invasive procedures such as extraction. If you are experiencing severe tooth pain or sensitivity, talk to our dentist Dr. Sugath Rajasekara about whether a root canal may be necessary to restore your oral health and comfort by calling 604 372 2861 or emailing us at info@pearlcaredental.ca