If you read the first article of this blog, you will know that sometimes there is information you need to know. While we try to keep everything positive and fun, there are times where we need to be a little serious. One of those times is when we are talking about how to avoid a root canal. Root canals can be avoided, but if you find yourself needing one, Dr. Boyle wants to make sure that you know what is going to happen and how it will help you keep your smile.
What is a Root Canal?
- Purpose – Root canals are used to clear your tooth of infection. An infected tooth nerve can cause many issues, such as pain, swelling, and pressure from an abscess. By removing the infected nerve and surrounding tissue called pulp, Dr. Boyle can clear you of the infection and save your tooth from having to be extracted.
- Process – Dr. Boyle will start the process by going over exactly what will go on during the procedure. He will administer the anesthetic and begin to remove the decay that is causing the infection. After the decay is cleared, he will then remove the nerve and pulp from the affected tooth. Don’t worry, your tooth nerve is not necessary for your tooth to function properly. It is mostly there to detect the temperature differences in your food, and if you are at the point of needing a root canal, you aren’t feeling anything nice from that nerve anyway.
A saline solution will be used to flush the area after we remove the nerve, pulp, and tooth decay. This solution will flush out any remaining debris and sterilize the area so that it can be filled and sealed by Dr. Boyle. That is the final step. Once the tooth is filled (keeps the tooth structurally sound) and sealed (keeps any possible future debris out), you will be good to go. The site of the root canal may be a little sore for a day or two. A simple NSAID pain reliever will be more than adequate to keep you comfortable.
- Goal – Saving your tooth from extraction is one goal of a root canal. The other is to rid your body of a dangerous infection, one that could cause severe problems for you if you don’t have it addressed quickly. We spoke briefly about abscesses earlier. These are pockets of infection that develop in your gums. If they are not treated, like any infection, they could spread, and if they get into your bloodstream, you are in mortal danger. A root canal will take care of the abscess and the infection that caused it. This will save your tooth, and it may just save your life.
Why Would You Need a Root Canal?
There are several reasons why your teeth would develop enough tooth decay to cause an infection.
- Poor hygiene leads to decay – The most common reason is that people do not take proper care of their teeth. They do not brush enough, feel that flossing is a recommendation and not a necessity, do not use mouthwash, or are damaging their teeth with bad habits such as tobacco use. Whatever the case may be, many times the tooth decay could have been avoided by simply implementing some simple dental hygiene steps that were not being followed. If you think you are doing a good job but want to make sure that you are doing all you can to keep your teeth healthy, call Dr. Boyle today to set up an appointment.
- Poor genetics leads to decay – Some people are just born with the deck of dental cards stacked against them. This is unfortunate, but it’s still manageable if you are willing to take the time to take care of your teeth. Many times, when genetics have contributed to tooth decay, the person affected has avoided going to the dentist as regularly as they should. Those regular exams and cleanings are vitally important to everyone, but even more so to those fighting the flawed nature of their family tree.
- Avoiding the dentist leads to decay – Getting in to see Dr. Boyle is an important part of keeping your teeth healthy. This goes for everyone. You could have perfect teeth your whole life, but if you avoid the dentist for too long, something bad is going to happen. We cannot stress enough how important it is for you and your dental health that you get regular dental exams by Dr. Boyle.
The Most Common Myth About Root Canals
Just to make sure that you are not worrying yourself to death, there is one big thing you need to know about root canals. They do not hurt. They feel the same as a tooth filling, and as a patient of Dr. Boyle, that means you won’t feel any pain. Call our Lancaster, CA office at 661-524-8457 to schedule your appointment. You can use the online form as well to schedule your appointment, ask a question, or leave a comment. We can’t wait to hear from you.