It’s a warm Saturday morning and you decide to head out to your favorite bakery to treat yourself to alfajores. You can’t wait to get home to enjoy their deliciousness, so you grab a cookie while driving. But when you bite down, a sharp pain shoots through your tooth. You know this isn’t just sensitivity to a temperature extreme because your cookies are kept at room temperature, so what could be the cause of your pain? Your sedation dentist in Ft. Lauderdale says you may need root canal therapy. As you continue reading, he’ll explain the steps of the process and how to overcome any anxieties you may have about the procedure.
What is a Root Canal Used for?
A root canal is a procedure that restores a decayed tooth to its full function. The culprit of the problem is bacteria. Every time you eat or drink (something other then water), bacteria flock to any leftover substances so they can feed. If these bacteria are not removed through proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits for cleanings, they will mount an attack on your teeth.
They start their attack by boring holes in the enamel, which you won’t be able to feel because this hard, outer layer has no nerves. But as the decay is allowed to keep traveling, it eventually passes through the dentin and into the nerve epicenter of your tooth – the pulp. Once decay reaches this point, you’re susceptible to experiencing intense pain when you eat or drink.
How Does the Root Canal Procedure Work?
Here’s what you can expect to happen during the root canal procedure:
- Your dentist will typically administer a local anesthesia to numb the area where the work will be done.
- He will then make an incision into the tooth to gain access to the decayed inner area.
- The next step is to remove the infected pulp and clean the area thoroughly.
- He’ll then fill the vacated space with a compound called gutta-percha and seal it with dental-grade cement.
Your tooth will be fully restored to its normal function!
But I’m Afraid of Root Canals
If you’re apprehensive about having the root canal procedure done, it’s good to know that the discomfort is minimal – quite similar to that of a routine cavity filling. But if your anxieties persist, the trained professionals at Sleep Dentists offer sedation dentistry.
Before the procedure starts, your dentist will provide you with a short questionnaire to complete that will assess your level of anxiety so that he can determine what the best form of anesthesia will be for you.
If you’re in pain and your tooth is decaying, it’s best to act now while there’s enough material left to be salvaged. Reach out to your dentist today to schedule a consultation and take an anxiety quiz so that you can soon enjoy a fully restored tooth!
About the Author
A graduate of Loyola University of Chicago School of Dentistry, Dr. Kerry G. Waldee went on to receive post-graduate training in Intravenous sedation at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He specializes in restorative and sedation dentistry at Sleep Dentists and can be reached for more information through his website.