For the root canals I do here in the office, the big thing is making sure that you are numb. No matter where you go to have a root canal done, it takes awhile, it's not a 15-minute procedure most of the time. It's about an hour or so. We get you comfortable. We get you relaxed. If you need something to help you relax, we have either nitrous, pills, or something like that, that will help you relax during the procedure.
The big thing is being numb for that, because most everyone is concerned about these root canals hurting, because that is what they've heard, is that root canals hurt. One of the reasons that root canals have that name is a lot of times, 15, 20 years ago, dentists would open into a tooth that wasn't completely numb.
One of the reasons for that, there was a lot of infection around the end of that root, there's puss in there, the anesthetic just doesn't get in to get that numb. I'd like to get you on antibiotics, if you are infected like that, a few days ahead of time, so we can get you numb and then it's just pretty much a boring appointment. You just hold your mouth open and we get it done, and it's boring. Boring is good for a root canal. The majority of them say, 'Hey. That was great. I didn't feel anything.' They'll say, 'You know it was hurting before, but it's not hurting now.' Then, we are able to move on and get that tooth restored to where it can function again.
If you have the option of keeping your real teeth, you should. A root canal is one way of doing that if your tooth is infected. Dr. Boyle uses the root canal procedure to save your real tooth and keep your smile intact.
What Is A Root Canal?
Inside of your teeth are nerves. Each tooth has its own nerve, and that nerve is surrounded by a soft, spongy material that dentists call pulp. Sometimes, the nerve in your tooth may get infected. The majority of these infections are caused by tooth decay that penetrates the chamber housing your nerve and surrounding pulp. Once a nerve is infected, you usually will have a great deal of tooth pain. You may even develop an abscess, a pocket of infection inside your gums. You will feel pain and pressure, and may even experience swelling in the area.
With root canal therapy, Dr. Boyle can remove the decay that caused the infection, and the infected nerve and pulp as well. Then, Dr. Boyle will clean the chamber to make sure that any lingering debris is removed. The chamber will then be filled and your tooth sealed to prevent any food or bacteria from making its way inside and causing additional problems.
What Is The Root Canal Process?
The first step for a root canal is taking X-rays. Dr. Boyle will use them to verify the shape of your nerve chamber and also to look for signs of whether the infection has spread. Next, you will be prepped for the procedure. In some cases, this will involve putting a rubber sheet around the tooth that is going to be worked on. This is to keep the area free from saliva during the process. You will also be given a numbing agent or sedated for the procedure. This is for your comfort, and Dr. Boyle will go over whether dental sedation is needed beforehand.
After you are comfortable and the numbing agent is in effect, Dr. Boyle will begin the process of accessing the nerve chamber in your tooth and removing the infected material. He will then flush the area with a solution to sterilize it. Once this is complete, your tooth will be filled and sealed to protect against further issues. You may need to come back for further restorative help (such as a crown) if the decay did extensive damage to your tooth. If so, Dr. Boyle will go over this with you while you are planning your treatment.
Are Root Canals Painful?
This is a myth. Root canals are no more painful than having a tooth filled. Even after providing anesthesia and sedation (if needed), Dr. Boyle is quick to listen to his patients and will administer more numbing agent to make sure you are completely comfortable during your root canal process.