A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth. During the procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without treatment, infected teeth can cause abscesses, pain, and swelling. A root canal can treat these issues and help you avoid tooth extraction.
Why Is a Root Canal Needed?
A root canal is performed when a cavity has reached the pulp of the tooth and is no longer treatable with a filling or dental crowns. The pulp is the innermost layer of the tooth, containing blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue to help nourish the tooth. When decay penetrates deep enough to reach the pulp, it can cause pain for patients that can be treated with a simple procedure like root canal therapy.
How Is a Root Canal Procedure Carried Out?
First, our dentist in San Mateo, CA, will numb the area surrounding your tooth with a local anesthetic. Next, we will use a special drill in order to create a small hole in your tooth. We will then insert a small handheld camera through that hole and locate any affected areas inside your teeth. Once we locate the area, we will use their special tools to clean it out. Once it is thoroughly cleaned, we will seal up the hole and place a temporary filling in it. This will prevent bacteria from getting back into your tooth until your permanent restoration is ready.
The final step will be placing the final filling or crown in your tooth! Typically, the permanent restoration will be placed about two weeks after the procedure in order to allow your tooth to heal fully.
What Happens After Root Canal Treatment?
Most patients report that the mild soreness they feel after a root canal goes away on its own within a few days to a week after the procedure. If your pain lasts longer than that, you should contact the San Mateo dentist to discuss possible treatment options. Sometimes a follow-up appointment will be necessary to check on the status of the tooth and make sure it’s healing properly. If any signs of infection are present, antibiotics may be prescribed to treat the infection and prevent complications from occurring.
Additionally, you may be given a dental crown or other restoration following your root canal to protect the treated tooth from further damage or breakage. The crown will prevent the tooth from becoming cracked or broken when you bite down. It will also prevent bacteria from entering the tooth and causing infection again. It’s best to avoid chewing hard foods on the tooth until the permanent crown is placed; otherwise, there is a risk of damage to the temporary crown.
To learn more about our dental services, book an appointment with our dentist in San Mateo, CA, by calling us at (650) 342-9055. You can also visit us at 255 N San Mateo Dr Suite 3, San Mateo, CA 94401. We will be happy to answer any questions you have.