Dr. Steven Aaron, our experienced root canal dentist in North Miami Beach, answers your questions and eases your fears with our root canal FAQ. If you have more questions than these, call us at %CLIENTPHONE%.
Root Canal FAQ
What is a root canal?
This oft-misunderstood dental procedure is done to save an abscessed (decayed/dying) tooth and rescue its surrounding tissues from spreading infection. To do this, we drill in and clean the decayed root tissue from the tooth and thoroughly disinfect the remaining tooth structure. These cleaned-out “canals” are then filled with a rubber-like cement called gutta-percha. The gutta-percha seals the canals and the tooth itself off from any further decay or infection because it forms an air-tight seal that prevents any bacteria getting in. In many cases, we also top it off with a crown.
Why do I need a root canal? My tooth does not hurt.
When the pulp of a tooth has become damaged, the nerve and blood supply to the tooth can die, which means you might not feel any pain. Some people feel pressure and sensitivity, but no pain. Sometimes people do not notice the problem until they find out during a dental examination. This is why regularly-schedule dental appointments are so important!
Why do you need to put a crown on a tooth that had a root canal?
Root canals save teeth, but they have been mostly gutted from the trauma and decay that brought us to the root canal in the first place. The crown protects the tooth from fracturing due to the weakened state of the tooth. So we often apply a crown over these teeth to protect them and enable them to function at full strength again.
Do root canals hurt as much as everybody says they do?
Actually, the pain is about the same as having a cavity filled, and not nearly as “legendary” as myth would indicate. Root canals actually stop and prevent pain by removing the real cause of the pain from the tooth—decay and infection. We use safe anesthetic procedures and recommend pain management medications for you to use as you recover.
Why do you think a root canal is better than an extraction?
While extractions are sometimes necessary in severe cases, we prefer root canals because they come with fewer potental complications. Your original tooth maintains your bite structure and prevents us having to involve healthy adjacent teeth in the treatment of the affected tooth.
What should I expect at my root canal appointment?
After an examination and x-ray, we apply a local anesthetic to numb the area and make you as comfortable possible. Our dentist then proceeds with the root canal. Depending on how many teeth are involved, the extent of the abscess, etc., the appointment may last anywhere from an hour to 90-minutes.
If you have any other questions about root canals, please contact us through our online form, or call us personally at %CLIENTPHONE%.