A root canal is needed when decay has penetrated deep into a tooth, a tooth has been damaged from dental trauma, or a crack in the tooth has exposed the tooth's root. Sometimes issues that arise from old fillings may also require a root canal.
Inside of your tooth, there is a soft center known as the dental pulp. When this becomes damaged or infected, an abscess forms and the tooth becomes very painful. The only solution is to perform a root canal or have the tooth extracted.
A root canal involves removing the infected dental pulp and filling the inside of the tooth with a gutta-percha material. Signs that you may need a root canal include severe pain, tooth discoloration, facial and gum swelling, abscess, a chip or crack in the tooth, and tooth sensitivity. If you have symptoms of a root canal, contact your dentist in Corona to get treatment as soon as possible.
No, root canals do not hurt. It is a common misconception that root canals are painful because, before the advent of modern anesthetic and sedation, they were. However, root canals haven’t been performed like that in a very long time.
Modern root canals are completely painless. We inject you with local anesthesia, which eliminates the sensation of pain. Getting a root canal is comparable to getting a dental filling. The procedure is more likely to relieve pain from the tooth infection than cause it.
You’ll first need to come into our office for a consultation with Dr. Martinez. He will perform an oral exam and take x-rays of your tooth to assess the extent of the damage. Some teeth may be too decayed or damaged to save and need to be extracted.
We will administer a local anesthetic to numb your mouth before drilling an access hole into your tooth. The infected dental pulp, including the root, will be scraped out. Each tooth contains between 1-4 canals and each of these canals will need to be cleaned, disinfected, and reshaped.
We’ll then fill the inside of the tooth back up with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. The final step is the tooth restoration - either a permanent filling or a dental crown will be placed. Rear molars with large fillings are likely to need a dental crown to protect them from damage.
Most often, by the time you need a root canal, tooth extraction is your only other option. Since root canals are 95% effective, we recommend leaving extractions as a last resort option. Losing a tooth will lead to bone loss and increase your risk of losing more teeth.
It will also lead to unsavory consequences if you don’t have the tooth replaced, such as shifting teeth, changes to your bite and facial structure, and facial sagging. When you account for the price of the tooth replacement, you would save more money and time by getting a root canal.