Has this ever happened to you? You meet someone whose reputation precedes them and then you discover that they’re nothing like their reputation at all. Well, that pretty much sums up what happens when one of Dr. Jorgenson’s patients receives root canal therapy, or endodontic treatment. Most people think that it’s going to be painful. However, a root canal in Costa Mesa is intended to alleviate the pain of an infected tooth, not cause it! Read on to learn more about root canal therapy and why it’s an important treatment.
To understand root canal treatment, we first need to understand the structure of a tooth. The outer protective layer of each tooth is called enamel. The mid-layer is called dentin, which is much more sensitive. Finally, at the core of every tooth there is the pulp chamber which contains lymph and nerve tissue as well as blood vessels. Each chamber breaks off into canals that lead to the tip of the root. These canals allow your teeth to absorb nutrients from your bloodstream and eliminate toxins.
Normally, the layer of dentin and pulp are safely protected by the enamel that surrounds your tooth. However, if that surrounding layer is breached by severe tooth decay, traumatic injuries, or a deep crack, then bacteria can enter the pulp chamber and cause infection. Other than a serious toothache, the signs of infection include:
When you come to Advanced Dental Care for a root canal, Dr. Jorgenson will first make sure you are completely comfortable in the exam chair. If you need a bit of help calming your nerves before the procedure, then just mention that when you schedule your appointment. Dr. Jorgenson can prescribe oral conscious sedation to help you relax. Once the area surrounding the tooth is sufficiently anesthetized, we will access your tooth’s chamber and remove any infected tissue or debris. The canals are treated with a disinfecting solution and filled with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha. More than likely, Dr. Jorgenson will want to prep the tooth for a crown that will further protect it.
Root canals get a bad reputation, but the fact is that we use them to get patients out of pain rather than put them in it. We will always ensure that our patients are numb and comfortable before beginning. And, as mentioned above, we offer sedation options for patients who want a deeper sense of calmness. After your root canal, you may feel some sensitivity and pain, but this can be managed with our post-treatment instructions.
It is completely normal to feel some sensitivity after your root canal, especially to hot or cold temperatures. Try chewing on the other side of your mouth for the first few days, and you can also take over-the-counter pain medication to make yourself feel more comfortable. If your sensitivity hasn’t dissipated after a few days, call our office right away! Dr. Jorgenson will carefully examine your tooth to see if there is still a possible infection.
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