A root canal is a procedure performed to remove an infection from a tooth and save it from extraction. When left untreated, a tooth infection can cause serious health concerns. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth can become infected and die, causing an abscess to form. An abscessed tooth is very painful and must be treated immediately.
During a root canal, the inside of the tooth is cleaned and then filled with a special material called gutta-percha. This seals the tooth and prevents further decay or infection. After the procedure, patients need to take special care of their restored smile. Many teeth require a crown after a root canal to ensure they do not break under the pressure of biting or chewing.
What Are the Symptoms of a Root Canal Infection?
- Pain and discomfort while biting or chewing food
- Bleeding and release of pus from the region near the infected tooth
- Loosening of the tooth from its socket
- Darkening of the tooth as compared to the adjoining teeth
- Tooth loss
What Happens During a Root Canal Procedure?
First, our dentist will numb the area with a local anesthetic to prepare you for the procedure. Then, the dentist will make a small opening in the tooth to access the pulp and nerves. Using small files or rotary instruments, they will remove the damaged tissue and clean the inside of your tooth before filling it. Finally, a crown will be placed over the tooth to restore its function and protect it from further damage.
After your treatment, you may experience some discomfort for a few days. This can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications. Be sure to eat only soft foods and avoid brushing your teeth near the treated area. If you experience severe pain or if your condition worsens after a few days, contact our dentist for an evaluation.
When Should a Root Canal Be Avoided?
While root canals are a common treatment, they should be avoided in some cases. For example, if a tooth is fractured or has sustained trauma, it’s best to avoid a root canal and opt for another type of restoration instead. A root canal should only be performed on an otherwise healthy tooth.
Fluorosis is another condition in which it may be best not to have a root canal performed. This condition is characterized by the enamel of the teeth being discolored or stained. This typically occurs due to too much fluoride intake during early childhood.
To find out more about the dental services we offer at Christopherson Family Dentistry, call (715) 344-9684 or schedule a consultation online. You can also visit us at 2901 Church St, Stevens Point, WI 54481.