Root Canals: What You Should Know

The words “root canal” tend to strike fear in those that hear them. Root canals don’t have a good reputation in the public mindset. However, that reputation is wholly unearned. Dr. Ami Barakat of Villanova Dental Studio, a dentist in Ottawa, ON, explains root canals and why they don’t have to be something you fear.ottawa, ontario dentist

What is a Root Canal?

Technically, the root canal is actually a part of your tooth. It’s a hollow space inside the tooth that holds your dental pulp and nerves. When most people talk about a root canal, though, they mean a root canal procedure. This procedure is done when the dental pulp gets infected and the infected material needs to be removed.

How Do I Know if I Need a Root Canal?

Sometimes, you won’t even notice any symptoms if your dental pulp is infected. You may not know you have an infection until your Ottawa, ON dentist spots it during a regular checkup. Otherwise, the most common symptom is sudden and sharp tooth pain. It’s more noticeable when you’re biting down or chewing up food.

You may also notice that a particular tooth is more sensitive to hot or cold food and beverages, with the sensitivity lingering. The gums around this tooth may be swollen and inflamed. You may also notice that the color of your tooth is off, oftentimes appearing darker than normal. This is due to the infected material inside of it.

The Root Canal Process

To start, the infection will be diagnosed by your dentist during an appointment. A separate appointment will be dedicated entirely to the root canal procedure. To start the procedure, we’ll apply a local anesthetic to numb the area around your tooth. If you suffer from dental anxiety or have certain medical conditions, we also offer sedation dentistry options to make sure you’re comfortable throughout the procedure.

Once you’re settled, a small hole will be drilled into the back of the tooth. Using a specialized tool, your dentist will scrape out the infected material inside. Once the infected pulp is removed, the inside of the tooth will be thoroughly cleaned and filled with a biocompatible material. This ensures that the tooth is sealed off and isn’t susceptible to further decay.

After most root canals, the tooth will be topped off with a dental crown. A dental crown is customized to the shade, shape, and size of the rest of the teeth in your smile so that it blends naturally. It’s also made of high-quality materials that can be polished to resemble a natural shine. The crown will help stabilize your tooth and allows you to get the full functionality from it.

Many patients say that a root canal doesn’t really feel like much more than a dental filling. Most of the time, the pain will be relieved by the root canal procedure. The pain associated with root canals is from the pressure and pain of the infection. Once a root canal procedure is done, all that pain should dissipate. Root canals are also preferable to having the full tooth extracted if the infection continues.

Root Canals at Your Ottawa, Ontario Dentist

Root canals are nothing to fear and can help save your tooth. Call us or schedule an appointment online today if you think you may have an infected tooth.