Tooth decay can spell death to your tooth. If left untreated, tooth decay can aggressively bore through your enamel and travel into the soft, pulpy center of your tooth, leading to a nasty infection that can quite literally spell the end of your tooth. Once this happens, the bundle of nerves and blood vessels in your tooth are no longer sending blood and nutrients to that tooth, causing it to become inert and vulnerable to loss. If the infection is successful in killing your tooth, we here at Ranches Family Dental have to act fast to try to salvage your tooth and save it from unwanted extraction. The procedure we use to do this is called a “root canal.”
What is a Root Canal and What Does It Do?
Root canals are an extremely common procedure and are typically considered a last resort for a severely infected tooth. Once your tooth sustains a loss of blood flow and nutrients from its connective tissue and blood vessels, it becomes fragile and more prone to sudden loss. To prevent this from happening, we must perform a root canal, giving your tooth a better chance at remaining inside your mouth.
While a root canal can be completed in just one appointment, we typically like to split the procedure into two appointments. This allows you to avoid sitting in our exam chair with your mouth open for the better part of an hour (or longer!) and is generally regarded as a much more comfortable option for our patients.
If you’ve been told that you require a root canal and you’re feeling anxious and uncertain about what to expect, it’s important to remember that this procedure is extremely important to help save your tooth. Because we break the appointment down over two appointments and we thoroughly numb your mouth with an anesthetic before we start, you should not experience any pain during the root canal.
The steps of a root canal include:
If you experience pain after your root canal, warm compresses and over-the-counter pain medication (such as ibuprofen) should help. The vast majority of root canals (to the tune of 95%) are considered successful, making them an excellent choice for any patient who may require them.
If you have advanced tooth decay and are preoccupied about the possibility of losing a tooth, or even if you simply have questions about root canals or oral health, do not hesitate to call us here at Ranches Family Dental at (385) 374-0500. We are more than happy to help you set up an appointment with cleaning and, if necessary, a consultation for a root canal.