A root canal is a procedure that removes bacteria and infected tissue from the inside of tooth roots. The very first root canal instrument was introduced in 1838 by Edwin Maynard. Since then, drastic improvements have been made in how root canals are performed. If your dentist has recommended that you receive a root canal, you may have a lot of questions, including “Are root canals safe?” Here’s some information that will help you answer this important question for yourself.
How Root Canals Are Performed
Over 20 million root canal procedures are performed safely each year, according to the American Association of Endodontists. The staff at Medical Dental Center are highly trained professionals who have performed many root canals and would never do a risky procedure on a patient.
A root canal is performed in several steps. First, your dentist takes an X-ray to confirm that your pulp is infected. Next, they use the anesthetic to numb the treatment area. Then, the tooth is isolated to keep the tooth dry and then to keep saliva away.
Next, an access hole is drilled into the tooth, and root canal files are used to remove the pulp – including all bacteria inside it – from the inside of the tooth roots. Once the roots are thoroughly cleaned out, they are sanitized and filled with an inert material root canal sealer. The final step is to seal the tooth with a crown or other restoration.
How To Tell if You Need a Root Canal
Here are a few telltale signs that you have infected root pulp and may need a root canal. If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to your dentist about the pros and cons of root canal procedures.
- Prolonged pain after your tooth is exposed to hot or cold temperatures
- A severe toothache, especially with the pressure
- Swelling and discomfort in the gums around the tooth
- Discoloration of the tooth, especially near the gum line
If you aren’t sure whether a root canal is right for you, tooth extraction or irrigating with ozone gas or calcium hydroxide are some other possible treatment alternatives. However, they may not be as effective as a root canal. Talk to your dentist to learn more about the pros and cons of all treatment options.
As with any medical procedure, there are risks associated with the procedure, root canals are relatively risk-free procedures. The dentist will prescribe antibiotics to help the body heal itself from the infection and pain medicine to help patients control the post care discomfort. You can minimize your risk of complications by following your dentist’s instructions for post-root canal care.
Set Up Your Appointment
If you think you may have infected tooth pulp, prompt treatment is important. Schedule an appointment and weigh your treatment options by calling the professionals at Medical Center Dental.