Happy Root Canal Awareness Week! Perhaps you didn’t know such a thing existed. Maybe you did know but were unaware that this week was the week in question. Whichever is the case for you, it’s true. The American Association of Endodontists has declared that May 6th through the 12th is the 12th Annual Root Canal Awareness Week. To celebrate this momentous occasion, we took some time to answer some common questions about root canals. To learn more about this dental procedure, or to schedule an appointment with one of our recommended endodontists, contact Columbia Smiles today.
What Is a Root Canal?
One of the most common questions about this procedure is perhaps the simplest to answer: what is a root canal? A root canal is a treatment that addresses infection or inflammation on the inside of your tooth. The infection or inflammation causes damage to the pulp, or center of the tooth. This procedure becomes necessary in many cases, and there are many causes, including:
- Deep decay of the tooth
- Repeated dental procedures on the tooth
- A crack or chip in the tooth
- Faulty crowns
- Trauma to the tooth
If you do not get treatment from a dental expert, the pulp will cause significant amounts of pain and could lead to an abscess. If Columbia Smiles feels you need a root canal treatment, our recommended endodontist will remove the infected pulp and clean out the inside of the tooth. Then, he or she will fill and seal the tooth with a substance called gutta-percha. Then, the dentist will restore the tooth with a crown or filling. As a result of a root canal, your tooth will continue to function normally.
What Is an Endodontist?
An endodontist is a dental specialist who attended at least two additional years of specialized training in root canal treatment. Many endodontists work with state-of-the-art equipment, including:
- Digital imaging
- Fiber optics
- Operating microscopes
- Ulatrasonic instrumentation
- Ultrasonic instrumentation
This equipment ensures their ability to treat patients comfortably and quickly.
Is Getting a Root Canal Painful?
In modern dental offices, getting a root canal treatment isn’t uncomfortable. In most cases, you’ll feel nothing more than you would if you were getting a normal filling. Our root canal treatments don’t cause pain; instead, they relieve it. The advances in technology ensure the treatment is nearly pain-free, and your dentist can finish the treatment in one visit. We understand how to manage pain, so a majority of our patients report little or no discomfort during the visit. Usually, a root canal treatment will take between one to two hours.
Can I Choose Between a Tooth Extraction and a Root Canal?
In nearly every case, saving the tooth, rather than extracting it, is the best option. Artificial teeth can’t replace the natural teeth, and may, in fact, disrupt your life. For instance, they may force you to avoid specific foods, which you can continue to enjoy if you still have your natural teeth.
If your dental expert recommends tooth extraction, you may want to ask whether a root canal is an option. With this treatment and proper restoration, we can address damaged teeth. This treatment is generally less expensive than the extraction of the tooth and placement of the implant or bridge.
Root canals are usually very successful and may last for a lifetime. Placing an implant or bridge requires more time and may involve more procedures to the surrounding teeth and tissues.
Contact Columbia Smiles
At Columbia Smiles, we’re proud to celebrate Root Canal Awareness Week. In addition to root canals, we offer a wide range of treatments, including:
- Dental trauma services
- Wisdom teeth removal
- Periodontal treatment
- Dental veneers