A root canal is a treatment that repairs a tooth that has been damaged by decay or injury to prevent extraction.
When Is a Root Canal Needed?
A root canal is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that has been significantly damaged by decay or injury. The treatment involves removing the pulp from the tooth. The pulp is the soft tissue composed of nerves and blood vessels that, when infected, causes severe pain. To address this, the pulp is removed and the emptied root canal is cleaned and sealed. The procedure is completed with a crown, which is placed on top of the tooth.
Root canal therapy has many benefits, which is why most patients opt to receive this treatment. Some of the top benefits of a root canal include:
- Saves the tooth from extraction
- Improved health, comfort, and function
- New life for damaged teeth
- Reduced tooth sensitivity
- No permanent tooth damage
- Affordable treatment
The Root Canal Procedure
A root canal is a dental procedure that treats infection in the tooth’s pulp, which is the soft inner tissue that contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. The pulp extends from the top of the tooth all the way down to the root. If a patient has a tooth infection, he or she will need a root canal to remove the infected pulp.
During a root canal procedure, your dentist will start by numbing the region using a local anesthetic. This will prevent you from feeling any discomfort. Then, the damaged tooth pulp, nerves, and bacteria are removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. The tooth is then restored with a dental crown, which allows patients to chew normally and prevents further damage.
Aftercare Following a Root Canal Procedure
After a root canal, your tooth may be sensitive or a bit inflamed. This discomfort can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication, but be sure to avoid chewing on the tooth until it is fully restored.
Post-op instructions include:
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt water.
- Use cold compresses on the outside of your jaw.
- Take the prescribed pain medication, if any.
What Are the Alternatives to a Root Canal?
If a tooth is severely damaged or the patient does not want to go through the procedure, tooth extraction is considered. Tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth, usually because of irreversible damage to a tooth and dental complications.
To learn more about our dental procedures, call us at 505-797-1000 or visit our dental office located at 5900 Cubero Drive NE, Suite B, Albuquerque, NM 87109.