Root canals…what a topic. Not necessarily the sort of thing you hang out and discuss with friends. In fact, maybe they’re something you’d prefer not to even think about. To many people getting a root canal is synonymous with an unpleasant experience.
However, the true facts of root canals are simple—and relatively pain free. While everyone has heard of them and millions of had them done, most people still don’t have a good understanding of this technique and its value.
For people who need them, root canals are actually a life saver. Today, they’re a simple and worry-free way to treat serious dental issues. Done right, you’re back to your life with as little pain as possible.
Let’s look at some of the simple facts of root canals.
Why a Root Canal?
When a cavity or other damage reaches the inner, soft part of the tooth, then bacteria can invade this area and cause an infection. You’ll usually be aware of an infected tooth because it results in a toothache. It may also be painful to chew, or you may have a swelling in your gums around the tooth.
An infection of this type is called an abscess. Inside the tooth, the soft part of the tooth – the pulp – is being destroyed by infection. If untreated, an abscess can weaken your immune system and spread infection to other areas, such as the sinuses or the heart.
How it Works
In days gone by, an abscess of this sort could mean an extraction and dentures. If the tooth was past the point of no return, there was nothing else that could be done.
However, thanks to modern dental techniques, this isn’t remotely the case. Your tooth can totally be saved by a root canal. This process removes infected tissue and thereby eliminates the possibility of infection spreading to any other area.
In a root canal, the soft inner part of your tooth is removed and the canal or opening that reaches all the way to the bottom of the root is cleaned out and shaped—which is why it’s called a “root canal.” The area that used to be filled by the pulp is then filled with sterile material. A filling is then placed over the opening at the top of the tooth. A crown may be recommended to offer more strength and prevent damage to the tooth.
And that’s it. You’re done. Instead of days or weeks of suffering, a few hours at the dentist will fix you up as good as new and get you back to your life.
Many people think a root canal is painful. However, it’s just not true. With current dental techniques, a root canal is no more uncomfortable now than getting a filling. With proper anesthetic and technique, they’re just another dental procedure.
However, to have this procedure go smoothly and have an excellent outcome, it’s essential to find a doctor skilled in doing a root canal the right way. This is the one point that must be remembered about root canal: they are a specialized dental technique and should be treated as such.
Root Canal Specialists
Performing a root canal is a precise operation. The pulp of the tooth must be cleaned out perfectly for a root canal to be successful. The inside of a tooth is a very small area, meaning that very exact skills are required. Done wrong, it can be a problem.
Thus, there is a specialized field in dentistry known as “endodontics.” This comes from the Greek words –endo, meaning “inside” and odont-, meaning “tooth.” In other words, they’re an “inside the tooth” dentist. Endodontists are dentists who have received advanced training which enables them to perform root canals at an extremely high level of precision.
At StarBrite Dental, we are a full-service practice. This means that we don’t refer you out, but have specialists on our staff who can handle any dental problem you run into.
It’s our intention that our patients maintain good dental health their whole lives and there are times that this means that an endodontist is the practitioner they need to see. All StarBrite Dental root canals are performed by our own endodontist. We also have specialists in oral surgery and cosmetic procedures and we can fulfill all family dentistry needs. Our goal is to provide you and your family with all your dental needs for long, healthy lives.
If you’re a new patient, we invite you to visit us for a Free Dental Consultation, no matter what service you need. Schedule your appointment for this consultation by calling (301)377-2186. We serve patients from all over the Washington, D.C. area and we look forward to helping you with your long-term dental health.