Root Canal Treatment
Root canals have earned a reputation in American culture as one of the most painful things someone can go through. This isn’t the case! Thanks to advances in technology and dental equipment, Dr. Spencer can perform root canals for his patients in the Merced, CA area with little to no discomfort.
Root canals are an excellent treatment option because not only do they help relieve pain and remove the infection, but they also preserve your natural tooth.
Why Are Root Canals Necessary?
Understanding some basic anatomy of our teeth helps us understand why root canals are important. Our teeth have three layers. The outer layer is enamel, inside that is the dentin layer, and then at the center of the tooth is the canal space that contains the nerves and blood supply of our teeth.
Cavities form from the outside in. When the bacteria that cause cavities to break through the enamel and dentin layers enter the canal space, you may need a root canal to save your tooth.
Infection and Inflammation Hurt, Not Root Canals
When bacteria first enter the canal space, the tooth's nerve can become very irritated and inflamed. This is painful but usually does not last because the nerve eventually dies. The bacteria are still present, though, and with time will travel through the tooth and start infecting the bone around the root of the tooth. This can be both painful and dangerous as it is a sign that the infection is trying to spread.
Signs That You May Need a Root Canal
If you have any of the following signs or symptoms, you may need a root canal:
- Pain that causes you to wake up at night
- A large hole in your tooth
- Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold
- Swelling in your cheek
- A pimple on your gums
- Pain to touch or chewing on a specific tooth
All of these are signs that you may need a root canal. Your body is very efficient at resolving infections, and so many of these signs and symptoms go away temporarily, but until the source of the infection is resolved, you are at risk for further complications.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal is the process of removing any infected or irritated nerve tissue located in the tooth's canal space. Dr. Spencer accomplishes this first by delivering local anesthetic to get the tooth profoundly numb. Then he will use small instruments and strong antibacterial liquids to remove any bacteria or infected tissue that may be present in the canal space. He finishes the procedure by placing a filling material in the canal space that seals the tooth off from future bacteria. All of this is accomplished with little to no discomfort!
Call Immediately if You Suspect You Need a Root Canal
If you suspect that you need a root canal, call our dental office right away to schedule an appointment with Dr. Spencer. Tooth pain comes and goes, but until the underlying cause of the inflammation or infection is resolved, that tooth remains at risk for further complications.