Known in dentistry as Endodontic Treatment, Root Canals are frequently misunderstood by patients. Many share with us their fear of Root Canals and the pain that the procedure will cause. The procedure is not the painful part, the pain already exists due to the infection present in the inside portion of the tooth. Dr. Eng performs a procedure to get to the painful infected portion and then removes it, releasing the pain.
To better understand what a root canal is, it helps to know the anatomy of your tooth. The outside portion of your tooth is a hard white enamel, and then a layer of another hard material called dentin. The next layer is the soft tissue of your tooth, called the pulp. The pulp is a mass of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue, which is there because it creates the hard outer portion of your tooth during development. The pulp inside your tooth extends from the top all the way down to the tips of the root of each tooth. Now, the pulp is very important when you are developing your teeth, but once the tooth is fully grown, it is no longer needed, your tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it.
How do I know I need a Root Canal?
Frequently, patients are aware that something is wrong with a tooth due to pain. Or, you may see a bump on your gums indicating a abscess, which is a sign of infection. Dr. Eng finds root canal therapy necessary when the pulp inside a tooth has become inflamed or infected. Infection can arise due to many reasons, it can be because of:
- multiple dental procedures on a single tooth
- a crack or chip in the tooth
- an impact injury to a tooth
- a deep cavity in the tooth
Somehow passage has been made, allowing bacteria to reach the inside portion of your tooth.
If you are experiencing the following signs, contact East Lake Advancing Dentistry for an appointment. Signs include, pain, sensitivity to either heat or cold, tenderness to touch or when chewing, darkening of the tooth, swelling, drainage or tenderness in the lymph nodes as well as nearby bone and gingival tissues (gums). Sometimes, however, there are no symptoms, this is why regular dental checkups are so important.
How Does a Root Canal Work?
Dr. Eng begins by removing the infected pulp, this is the best way to remove the bacteria. He will then clean out the inside of the canal, and fill it with a medicated rubber material to alleviate the pain and heal the infection. The area is sealed, and you will get better. If you have been referred to one of our premier root canal specialists, you will return to Dr. Eng, for placement of a dental crown on the now weakened tooth to protect and restore it to full function. With the crown, your tooth can continue to function like any other tooth.
It is normal to feel sensitive in that area for the first few days after treatment. We recommend relieving this discomfort with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Follow Dr. Eng's instructions carefully.
Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your root canal is completed. However, if you have severe pain or pressure, or pain that lasts more than a few days, call our office.
If you would like more information on Endodontic Treatment, dental crowns, or infection in your teeth, contact Dr. Andrey Eng, at our Yorba Linda, CA office at: (714) 779-2736