It’s a mild spring afternoon and you’re planning to head out to watch The Ohio State University baseball team kickoff their season. As you try to nibble on a quick snack before leaving your house, you’re hit by an intense pain sensation that shoots through one of your teeth. Not the first time that this has happened, you wonder what’s causing such acute discomfort. Your dentist in Columbus suggests that you be seen immediately because you may need root canal therapy. He’ll explain his reasoning and how this restorative process works as you continue reading.
Why Would I Need a Root Canal?
All tooth decay begins with bacteria, and as hundreds of them combine they form sticky plaque that begins to bore into your tooth’s enamel (the hard, outer layer). The result is a cavity, and because there are no nerves in the enamel, you won’t feel the initial decay caused by the bacteria. When it gets to the layer beneath – the dentin – which has nerves, you’ll get your first signs of discomfort.
If those warnings are ignored, the bacteria will keep traveling and will move into your inner tooth – the pulp – which houses the majority of the nerves and the canals. When tooth decay gets to this point, you can expect intense pain, especially when you eat or drink because the substances have direct access to your exposed nerves.
But your dentist offers root canal therapy in Columbus to restore your tooth to its full function.
What Does Root Canal Therapy Consist of?
You may have heard horror stories about how painful it is to receive a root canal, but that’s not the case. In reality, you can expect no more discomfort from having this procedure done than you would from a routine cavity filling.
Here are the steps to restoring your tooth’s full function:
- Your dentist will first capture an image of your tooth with an X-Ray.
- He then will apply local anesthesia to numb the area where the work will be done.
- The next step is to make an incision into the tooth to gain access to the pulp.
- All of the decayed tissue will be removed and the area inside your tooth thoroughly cleaned.
- Your dentist will pack the hollowed space with a compound called gutta-percha and seal it with cement.
You’ll leave your appointment with a completely restored and fully functional tooth.
If you are having intense pain sensations, it’s important that you immediately contact your dentist so you can be examined. The quicker you act, the better the chances of salvaging your decaying tooth.
So to schedule an appointment, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local professional today!
About the Author
A graduate of The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, Dr. Eric Buck is constantly looking to expand his dental knowledge. He is a faculty member at Spear Education, where he enjoys teaching and learning more about the art of dentistry. Dr. Buck practices at Creative Smiles and can be reached for more information through his website.