Many people hear the words “root canal” and wince in anticipation of an extremely painful dental procedure, but that doesn’t need to be the case. Root canals actually relieve unbearable tooth and jaw pain so you feel better than you did before the procedure.
Here at The Dental Touch, a full-service general and cosmetic, state-of-the-art dental office in Oakland, California, Dr. Dennis Prat and Dr. Luis Romero skillfully perform root canals to save infected teeth from extraction. We understand that you may have some apprehension or downright fears when it comes to needing a root canal, so we explain everything you need to know about the procedure to put your mind at ease.
Quell your fears of root canals
First of all, root canals are nothing to fear when it comes to dental work. In fact, they’re relatively painless dental procedures that save your infected tooth from further decay and help you keep your natural teeth.
A root canal removes the soft inner tissue — the pulp — from a damaged or infected tooth. The pulp contains the blood vessels and nerves of the tooth, and if it becomes infected or damaged, it swells up causing extreme pain and intense tooth sensitivity. You may find it difficult to chew even the softest foods, and cold beverages may cause excruciating pain.
Don’t let fear of a root canal prevent you from saving a tooth from extraction. It’s always best to save a natural tooth if Dr. Prat and Dr. Romero recommend a root canal, rather than pulling your tooth and needing a dental implant to fill the space.
Symptoms that may indicate the need for a root canal
Cracked teeth, genetics, and deep cavities can lead to infected teeth that can benefit from a root canal treatment. Symptoms that indicate you may need a root canal to save your tooth include:
- Swollen, tender gums
- Darkening gum tissue
- A cracked or chipped tooth
- Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold liquids and food
- A pimple on your gums
- Severe pain when attempting to chew
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment for a dental exam so we can determine the underlying cause of your pain and recommend the most effective treatment.
Getting a root canal is often as simple as getting a cavity filled
During a root canal treatment, your dentist at The Dental Touch removes the infected pulp from inside your tooth and disinfects the inside of your tooth. For many people, removing the source of the pain offers almost instant relief.
Once the decayed material is gone, your dentist fills your tooth with a special material called gutta-percha. This helps seal the tooth and prevent further decay. After that, you typically get a custom-made crown that fits over your natural tooth to protect it and strengthen it.
Oral conscious sedation can help
If you’re still not convinced that a root canal is a relatively simple procedure that relieves your pain, we totally understand. That’s why we offer oral conscious sedation to help you relax and calm your anxiety regarding dental procedures in general. If needed, you can take an oral sedative before your root canal appointment to help you relax and feel calm during the treatment.
Of course, we also administer a local anesthetic whenever necessary, to keep you comfortable and as pain-free as possible during each step of your root canal.
Don’t let root canal fear keep you from treating a painful tooth. It could mean the difference between saving a tooth or needing more extensive cosmetic dentistry in the future. Call our friendly staff at 510-324-9096, or request an appointment online today.