Dentist in Portland, OR
Many people know the term “root canal” but few know what it actually means. It is a very common procedure that we do here at Pacific Woods Dental on a regular basis. Root canals can save your teeth, eliminate pain, and improve your overall oral health. If you have never had a root canal before, you may not fully understand the process involved. Let us break down what a root canal involves and why you may need one.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal is an endodontic treatment procedure that we can do right here in the office. The goal of a root canal is to save your tooth, stopping the damage being done to it so that it does not have to be extracted. To understand what a root canal is, you need to understand the parts of a tooth. A tooth is more than the hard, white enamel that you can see. Within that enamel is the pulp, a type of soft tissue that contains the tooth’s nerves, blood vessels, and other tissues. The pulp runs the length of the tooth, starting at the crown and ending deep in the roots. While the pulp is vital to the growth of a tooth, once mature, the tooth no longer needs it.
When the pulp becomes infected or inflamed, it can cause pain and, if not dealt with, can become an abscess. To prevent that from happening, a root canal needs to be done. During this procedure, we remove the pulp, clean out the tooth, and seal up the space. Once complete, you can continue eating and chewing with the tooth like you normally would.
How Is a Root Canal Done?
If we have determined that you need to have a root canal, we start by numbing the affected tooth. Next, we make a small hole in the tooth’s crown and, using tiny instruments, remove the pulp. After the pulp has been removed and the interior of the tooth is cleaned and prepared, we fill it with a special material. This material is cemented into place so it will not come out. We normally place a temporary crown on top of the tooth and ask that you return for a follow-up appointment. At that appointment, we will remove the temporary crown and place a permanent one on the tooth.
Why Should You Have a Root Canal?
Root canals are necessary to protect the tooth and your overall health. If the infected pulp is not removed, you will eventually lose the tooth. The infection can also spread, leading to more tooth loss, periodontal disease, and other health concerns.
Do You Need a Root Canal?
If you experience pain when biting or chewing, you may need a root canal. Other signs of an infected pulp include a sensitivity to cold or heat, swollen gums, dark color on the gums around the tooth, or pimples forming on the gums. If you have any of these symptoms, you need to contact Pacific Woods Dental at 503-292-5483 today to schedule an evaluation.