A root canal is an endodontic treatment, meaning it deals with diseases of the pulp of teeth. The root canal removes decay from a tooth’s pulpy interior, which contains the nerves and blood vessels. The pulp extends from the crown of the tooth down through the roots that hold your tooth in the jaw.
A root canal procedure is similar to filling a cavity. Dr. Unger removes the decay and then fills the tooth, sealing it off from additional decay and damage. This procedure can preserve your natural tooth, preventing further tooth loss or the need for an extraction.
While root canals have a reputation for being painful, advances in modern dentistry have eliminated most of the discomfort. The first step in a root canal is numbing your tooth and the surrounding tissue. Dr. Unger first delivers a topical anesthetic, then makes a few injections at key points to fully numb the part of your jaw he’ll be working on.
During the next step, Dr. Unger uses a small drill and other tools to carefully remove the damaged tissue from the exterior and interior of your tooth.
Dr. Unger fills and seals your tooth after all of the decay is removed and your tooth is clean. In some cases, if a lot of decayed tissue was removed, Dr. Unger places a crown on your affected tooth to provide additional support and strength to your weakened tooth.
With modern dental anesthetics, root canal treatments are no more painful than a standard filling. You might experience some tenderness after the anesthetic wears off, but there shouldn’t be any extreme pain. Applying an ice pack or taking over-the-counter painkillers should resolve residual discomfort.
Keeping your natural tooth is usually the better option for your overall dental health. Keeping your natural teeth preserves the alignment of your teeth and the health of your jaw.
Your teeth fit together and put small amounts of pressure on their neighbors, which keeps your teeth in the correct positions. When you lose a tooth or have an extraction, the neighboring teeth take advantage of the space and will shift in your jaw, which could cause alignment issues.
Call or schedule an appointment online today if you are experiencing tooth pain or sensitivity.
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