Tooth enamel, which is the outer layer of your teeth, is strong and durable. The inside of a tooth, however, is soft and vulnerable to dental decay. Cavities form when harmful bacteria invade your tooth and start to reproduce and grow. This damages the tooth and causes a hole to develop that grows larger over time.
While dental fillings effectively treat small cavities, larger cavities need more extensive treatment, and this is where root canals come in. A root canal treats serious infections and stops tooth decay to preserve your natural tooth.
Clay Nunn, DDS and our team at Nunn Family Dentistry offer the latest dental solutions to keep your smile healthy. If you’ve been told that you need a root canal, here’s what you should know.
Why do I need a root canal?
It’s crucial to attend twice-yearly dental checkups with Dr. Nunn. This provides the opportunity for us to check your oral health and detect potential problems before they start or get worse. Patients who attend checkups twice a year are less likely to need a root canal. That’s because we detect signs of tooth decay early and address them.
However, if you haven’t visited the dentist in a while, tooth decay can set in, and when it progresses, you may need a root canal. Severe infection is the most common reason dentists perform root canals.
Signs of serious infection to look out for include:
- A toothache
- Inflamed gums
- Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold
- Pain in the gums
Be sure to report any signs of infection to Dr. Nunn for he can evaluate your oral health.
What does a root canal involve?
Dr. Nunn is likely to recommend a root canal if you have a dental infection and the pulp inside your tooth is severely decayed. When you visit Nunn Family Dentistry, we’ll take X-rays of the affected tooth to get a closer look at the extent of the decay.
Once we confirm that you need a root canal, we use local anesthetic around the tooth to keep you comfortable. Your tooth and gums will be numb so you won’t feel any discomfort.
Dr. Nunn accesses the pulp inside your tooth through an opening made at the top of the tooth. He thoroughly cleans out the infected material before filling the tooth with a special material and sealing it to keep bacteria out.
Then an impression is made of the tooth to make a crown. Nunn Family Dentistry offers same-day crowns, which eliminates the need to wait two weeks for your permanent crown. Dr. Nunn affixes your crown in place and you’re all set.
Many people are surprised to find that they’re not in pain following a root canal treatment. You may, however, experience some tooth sensitivity for a couple of days after the root canal treatment.
Whether you have tooth pain, need a root canal, or have another oral health issue, our expert dental team can help. To get started, give our office a call to schedule an appointment, or make your request online today.