Root canals have a bad reputation. Somewhere along the way, root canals became something to fear in people’s minds. However, there’s no reason for you to be scared of getting a root canal. Dr. Scott Finlay, an experienced Annapolis dentist, discusses the process of a root canal, what to expect, and why you don’t need to fear it if you need to get one.
Why Do I Need a Root Canal?
While many people think of a root canal as the procedure, it’s actually a part of the tooth. At the center, it’s the hollow part that contains the pulp, which is blood vessels and nerves for the tooth. If tooth decay eats through the enamel and other layers of the tooth, it can get into the pulp and infect it. This is when you need a root canal procedure. It helps prevent the need for a full tooth extraction.
If the decay is able to damage the tooth too severely, tooth extraction may be needed. Dr. Finlay will do everything in his power to make sure that your tooth can be saved. However, there are circumstances where extraction is needed. Our office offers tooth replacement solutions like dental implants if this procedure is needed.
The Root Canal Process
Many people think that root canals are extremely painful. This isn’t the case. With modern technology and updated procedures, root canals basically feel the same as getting a dental filling. The main source of pain comes from the infection and pressure in the pulp. Once the root canal is completed and the infected pulp is removed, you’ll instantly have relief from the pain.
To start a root canal, Dr. Finlay will numb the area around the tooth that needs the root canal so that you’re comfortable. A small hole is then drilled into your tooth so that the pulp can be accessed. Any diseased and infected pulp is removed completely and the inside of your tooth is thoroughly rinsed out and cleaned.
When it’s clear of infection, a biocompatible material called gutta-percha fills that hollow area of your tooth where the pulp was located. This helps stabilize the tooth and ensure that further decay isn’t able to get inside. The gutta-percha seals that hole so that it can’t be infected in that area anymore.
After the tooth is filled with gutta-percha, a dental crown is usually used to complete the process. The crown strengthens the tooth and allows you to continue to have full function of the tooth. You’ll be able to eat regularly. A crown will be custom-made to fit you specifically and will be color-matched to the rest of your smile. It’ll fit like a cap around your tooth to seal it.
Root Canals at Your Dentist in Annapolis
Don’t get yourself worked up and worried about a root canal procedure. Dr. Finlay and our experienced staff will make sure you’re taken care of. Call us today or schedule an appointment online to get started!