Mention a root canal, and most people immediately envision a long, painful procedure. But a root canal should never cause pain when an experienced dentist like Laura Llanos, DMD, at Llanos Dental Group in Miami Lakes, Florida, performs it. The best step you can take is to schedule an appointment at the first sign of symptoms like pain when biting or chewing, swollen gums, or general tooth pain. The longer you wait, the more time you give the infection to spread. Call the office or use the online booking feature today to get help for an infected tooth.
A root canal is an endodontic procedure to treat an infected tooth. In fact, when the inner pulp develops an infection, a root canal is the only treatment that preserves the tooth. Otherwise, you’ll end up having the tooth removed.
A narrow opening goes through each tooth root and into the center of your tooth. This opening (the canal) contains pulp, which holds nerves and blood vessels.
Your tooth enamel normally protects the pulp. But if a cavity or cracked tooth lets bacteria get inside the tooth, a pulp infection develops.
A pulp infection doesn’t heal on its own. If you don’t get a root canal, the infection persists, an abscess develops around the tooth, and inflammation can spread into the gums and bone.
You may notice early signs of a pulp infection, such as:
Or, you may not notice any of those symptoms. Instead, you may develop constant, excruciating tooth pain, leaving no doubt you need to schedule an appointment at Llanos Dental Group.
You should never experience pain during a root canal. Dr. Llanos gives you anesthesia that completely blocks the pain and, if needed, can also prescribe a mild sedative to ease anxiety.
After the area around the infected tooth is totally numb, Dr. Llanos drills a tiny hole in the back of the tooth and uses a special instrument to remove the pulp. Then she cleans and disinfects the canals, fills them with a putty-like material, and places a temporary filling over the hole.
Dr. Llanos schedules a second appointment to check the tooth and ensure no signs of infection. Then she either puts a permanent filling over the hole or covers the tooth with a dental crown.
A crown is important if the tooth has weakened or the root canal was done on a molar. Molars need the supportive strength of a crown because they withstand a lot of pressure during chewing.
At the first sign of pain or other symptoms, call Llanos Dental Group or book an appointment online. Early treatment prevents the infection from causing extensive damage.