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All About Root Canals

We all know that ignoring tooth pain is a big mistake. Sometimes the minor pain from cavities can turn into a major pain and require more serious intervention than just a filling. Left untreated, a cavity can turn into the need for a pulled tooth or a procedure called a root canal. But while many people have heard scary anecdotes about the pain of root canals, many people don’t know what they are, or that they aren’t as painful as you might have heard.

Root canals are one of the most common dental procedures. In fact, upwards of 14 million root canals are performed each year. A root canal is needed when a cavity becomes so severe it infects the roots of the tooth, also known as the pulp.

To perform a root canal, Dr. Peterson performs what is known as a pulpectomy, where he drills into the tooth and removes the infected pulp from the tooth. He then cleans out then tooth, disinfects it, and then replaces that pulp with a compound called gutta percha, which acts as synthetic pulp. Doing this allows you to keep your natural tooth without needing to have it pulled and replaced with a denture or dental implant.

Generally, root canals are very successful. In fact, 90 percent of all root canals are successful. As mentioned before, root canals aren’t as painful as you might have heard. The procedure is done with local anesthesia so you feel no discomfort during, and most patients feel a general sense of pain relief after the procedure because the infection is removed from their teeth.

Healing from a root canal is quite mild as well. You can usually drive yourself home from the procedure, and after the general anesthesia wears off, you may experience some mild discomfort for a few days, but it should be less severe than prior to your root canal procedure.

If you are told you need a root canal, don’t despair! It is a very common procedure that is performed quite routinely. If you think you may need a root canal, please contact Dr. Peterson’s office to schedule an evaluation, but don’t put it off. The longer you wait the more severe the damage to your tooth may be.

Tags: Root canal, teeth, pulp, infection, Peterson

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Posted in: Dental Health, Dental News, Root Canal

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