Root Canals by Pathway Dental Group in Santa Barbara, Lompoc, and Santa Maria
Getting a root canal does not have to be a horrible experience that many people believe it to be. Patients who have had bad experiences in the past with root canals occur if they decide to forgo getting a root canal when they truly need one. When your tooth becomes infected, a root canal is necessary to prevent you from losing that tooth (or teeth) and relieve the potential for agonizing pain.
Thanks to the latest technology we have available at Pathway Dental Group and our exceptional dental team, getting a root canal is less painful and more efficient than ever.
Discover what a root canal is and how important it is not to wait if you think you are suffering from an infected tooth.
What Is a Root Canal?
To understand what a root canal is, it’s necessary to first understand the anatomy of a tooth. The layers of the tooth consist of the enamel (the outermost layer), the dentin (the second layer), and the pulp chamber (the innermost layer). When the pulp chamber, the layer that contains the nerves and blood vessels of the tooth, becomes infected or damaged, it’s most likely time for a root canal.
A root canal treatment involves removing the infected pulp, then cleaning and disinfecting the surfaces inside the tooth. Once that’s finished, the dentist will seal the tooth to prevent further infections and protect it with a crown over the top.
Learn About Root Canal Therapy in our Video Below
When Is a Root Canal Necessary? Do I Need One?
The signs that a root canal is needed can involve pain but there are also times a tooth dies without any symptoms at all. If decay is the reason for your root canal, those situations can often be prevented if your cavity is treated early before it involves the nerve. Tooth decay can be caused by injury, genetics, a deep cavity, or issues from a previous filling. When the pulp chamber inside the tooth becomes infected, and advanced decay sets in, a person will usually experience:
- Severe toothaches
- Prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold food and drinks
- Tooth discoloration
- Swelling and tenderness of the gum tissue around the infected tooth or teeth
- Dental abscesses or pimples on the gums
If you experience any of those symptoms, it’s important to be checked out by your dentist as soon as possible. If left untreated, the infection could spread causing you to lose your tooth completely, involve other teeth or have the infection impact your systemic health.
At Pathway Dental Group, we make scheduling an appointment with one of our dentists quick and easy. Book an appointment online today to get the dental help and attention you need.
What Happens During a Root Canal?
A “root canal” is both the name of the procedure and the term for the actual channels within the tooth. At Pathway Dental Group, this is what you can expect during your root canal treatment:
- The dentist numbs your tooth. Local anesthesia is used to help keep you comfortable throughout your procedure
- A dental dam is placed. A dental dam isolates the tooth being treated and keeps the area dry.
- An opening is created. Your dentist will then make a small hole on the top of the tooth to access the pulp chamber.
- The infection is removed. Using specialized tools, your dentist will remove the damaged or infected pulp from the chamber and the root canals.
- Your tooth is cleaned. After all diseased nerves and blood vessels are removed, the space inside the tooth is disinfected and shaped.
- Your tooth is filled and sealed. Once everything is cleaned out, your dentist will fill the empty canals with rubbery dental material, called “gutta-percha.” Then, it’s sealed to prevent bacteria from reentering.
- We restore your tooth. Often, after a root canal, your tooth needs to be restored to its former strength and shape by placing a permanent crown over the treated tooth
Does Root Canal Therapy Hurt?
Many patients dread hearing they need a root canal because they’re afraid of the pain they believe they’ll experience. In truth, the pain that’s usually felt is a result of the infected tooth not the root canal treatment to fix the infected tooth. Most patients actually feel immediate relief after their root canal because the source of the infection has been removed.
What Are the Benefits of Root Canal Treatment?
If you’re suffering from an infected tooth, getting a root canal as soon as possible is the best decision you can make. By getting a root canal you will:
Pathway Dental Can Improve Your Oral Health With a Root Canal
At Pathway Dental Group, we perform root canals daily and we use the latest innovative technology to ensure the procedure is as non-invasive and as comfortable as possible. If you think you may be in need of a root canal in Santa Barbara, Lompoc, or Santa Maria CA, email our office or book an appointment online today to set up a consultation!