We often see root canals depicted in movies and TV. They are usually shown as a great source of pain and discomfort for the patient.
But that doesn’t have to be the case! Root canals, often placed with a crown, are very common procedures that can help us save our teeth. Today, your Newport Beach, CA dentist discusses just what exactly a root canal is, and how one might benefit you.
Why Do We Need Root Canals?
Sometimes, the inner part of the tooth can become infected or even die. This can happen because of a crack in the tooth, or even a cavity that has eaten too deeply into the tooth.
When this happens, there can be immense pain in the jaw, or an unstable tooth. In the past, we would have extracted this tooth. But today we have more sophisticated options, primarily a root canal.
At this point, a dentist will need to be consulted. Most likely, the pain will not allow you to put it off for very long.
So What’s The Plan?
When a root canal is performed, the dentist will first drill a hole into an inconspicuous section of the tooth. Then, they will perform what is known as a pulpectomy. This is the removal of the soft, fleshy portion within the tooth.
By doing this, the dentist will temporarily render the tooth fragile and weakened. So structurally, the tooth must be reinforced in order to assure a safe future for your smile.
How Is It Filled?
When the pulp has been successfully removed, it is time to fill the tooth. This creates a solid tooth, able to withstand daily use.
A material from a tree from Malaysia, known as gutta-percha, is what dentists use to permanently fill a tooth after a root canal. It’s similar to latex, but without the allergic effects.
This material is strong enough to last with your tooth for the rest of your life with routine oral health care. If additional support is needed in the tooth, a doctor may place a metal rod in the tooth, as well.
How Is It Covered?
Most likely, you will require a crown on top of the restored tooth. This is mainly for structural concerns, as a covered tooth can much better disperse the bite force.
But it also makes the tooth much more beautiful in the mouth. And a smoother porcelain surface will be easier to brush. Restored teeth are always at a higher risk of infection than natural healthy teeth.
How Do I Know If A Root Canal Is A Fit For Me?
If you have any questions about how a root canal might ease your pain, please give Dr. Hofkes at Balboa Dental Surgery a call at (949)630-0143. Or stop by our office here in Newport Beach, CA!