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Smile Texas's Cosmetic Dentistry Journal

 

Dental Mysteries – Volume 3 – Root Canals

Welcome to the next entry in our ongoing series of patient information columns.  Our goal is to educate the reader, thereby reducing any anxiety that a patient may feel from the unknown.  Today, we unveil the mystery of:

Root Canals

Do the words “root canal” bring to mind images of a torture chamber?  Do you imagine walking on a bed of nails is preferable to having a root canal?  You are not alone.  Most people have an irrational and mostly unfounded fear of having a root canal.  The truth is that a root canal is a medically necessary procedure to keep infection caused by tooth decay from forming an abscess.  The lovely description of an abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms at the ends of the roots of the tooth.  An untreated abscess can cause swelling in the face and neck, bone loss around the tip of the root, or drainage issues into the gums or cheek.  The best way to endure a root canal is to not have one in the first place.  Prevention is key.  DO NOT ignore tooth pain.  DO NOT assume it will go away.

When you are getting a smile makeover with porcelain crowns at Smile Texas, the procedure first involves x-rays to determine which teeth have deep decay, large leaking fillings, or large cracks.  These teeth are candidates for root canals.  The root canals are performed before the smile makeover can happen.  During a root canal the area near the affected teeth are numbed with local anesthesia or sedation dentistry can be used.  An access hole will then be drilled into the tooth.  The pulp, bacteria, and the decayed nerve tissue are removed from the tooth.  Then the canal is cleaned out using root canal files and flushed with water.  Finally, the root canal is filled and the access hole is filled.  The tooth is now ready to participate in your smile makeover!  So a root canal may not be your favorite activity, but it’s not that bed of nails, either.