It may surprise you to learn that more than 15 million root canals are performed every year. That’s about 41,000 a day. From a dentist’s perspective, root canals are common, even routine, procedures.
Historically, root canals had a reputation for being incredibly painful. But that’s not the case in modern dentistry. With today’s technology, you probably wouldn’t notice a difference in pain between a root canal and a cavity filling.
So what exactly is a root canal? And how do you know if you need one?
What Is a Root Canal?
When people say they’re “having a root canal,” what they really mean is that they’re having a root canal treatment. Your technical root canal is simply part of your tooth. It’s the cavity in the center of your tooth that houses both your tooth’s nerve and your tooth’s pulp.
The Pulp of Your Tooth
The pulp is made of connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves, and serves an important role during your tooth’s maturation process. Once you have your adult teeth, however, the pulp isn’t necessary for your tooth to keep functioning. Its only purpose is to register hot and cold sensations.
That’s good news, because when your pulp is inflamed or infected, you’ll need a root canal treatment to remove it.
Getting a Root Canal Treatment
A root canal procedure is a form of endodontic treatment, meaning it concerns the inside of your tooth. During the procedure, our dentists will remove your tooth’s pulp, effectively cleaning your tooth’s root canal and ridding it of infection. They’ll then fill the canal and seal it with a temporary filling until they can replace that filling with a crown.
Most root canals require two visits: one to remove the pulp, and one to add a crown. However, our office has the technology to create same-day crowns. Ask our dentists if you could be a candidate for a same-day crown and get your root canal finished in just one visit!
Should I Get a Root Canal?
If you’re wondering if you should get a root canal, schedule a visit with our dentists. Only a dentist can tell you for certain what procedure is best for your situation.
However, if you’re wondering whether you might have inflamed or infected pulp in your tooth, here are some signs to watch out for:
- Intense pain when biting or chewing
- A cracked or chipped tooth
- Your tooth sensing hot or cold even after the cause of the temperature shift has been removed
- Swollen or darkening gums
A root canal is supposed to relieve pain, not cause it. If you’re experiencing pain in your teeth, speak with our dentists. A root canal may be just what you need to provide some relief.
Request a Root Canal Appointment Today
If you’re suffering from tooth pain, don’t delay. Ryan Frederickson DDS and Lee Frederickson DDS are experienced Wyoming, MI, dentists who can treat your root canal problems. Call Family Dentistry at (616) 534-5602, or request an appointment online.