One of the most common dental procedures out there is the root canal, which millions of Americans undergo each year. A root canal is needed when the pulp inside of a tooth or several teeth becomes infected. The pulp is made up of the nerves and soft tissue inside the root canal, or middle of the tooth.
Decaying teeth can cause an infection that may spread. Patients with severe decay require tooth extraction as a last resort. A root canal procedure in our Charlotte, NC office can help prevent tooth loss by removing infection and cleaning the affected tooth.
Root Canal Treatment in Charlotte, NC
A root canal procedure removes infection from the inside of a tooth. Pulp, made of nerves and soft tissue, is found inside the root canal in the middle of a tooth. When a tooth infection spreads and affects the pulp, a root canal is needed.
Our root canal procedure starts with Dr. Reece making a small hole in the affected tooth to remove the infected pulp. He will clean and polish the tooth and fill it with gutta-percha, a biocompatible rubber compound.
A dental filling or dental crown will then be used to cover the tooth, preventing further damage. Local anesthesia and nitrous oxide are used to minimize pain during the procedure.
Symptoms of Tooth Infection
Look out for these signs of infection and call our office if you notice any that seem familiar:
- Tooth sensitivity to temperature and pressure
- Face swelling
- Pain in the neck, jaw, or ear
- Difficulty swallowing
Several risk factors including poor hygiene, a diet high in sugar, or dry mouth may make more patients prone to a tooth infection than others. If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you, contact Dentistry of the Queen City.
Steps to Prevent Tooth Infection
There are several steps you can take to ensure your teeth don’t get infected:
- Schedule regular checkups and cleanings
- Limit sugary foods and drinks
- Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months
- Use dental floss when you brush your teeth
- Use fluoride toothpaste and water
However, if you have noticed severe symptoms, we will be happy to provide you with comprehensive dental treatments.
The Root Canal Pain Myth
Many people are scared of getting root canals because they have a reputation for being painful. However, this reputation has no basis in fact. Many people describe the process of a root canal as nothing more than a dental filling.
The pain that many people experience is the actual pain of the infection putting pressure on the tooth. When the dental pulp is infected and inflamed, it becomes swollen, putting pressure on the walls of the tooth.
When the patient gets a root canal, they may experience some pain relief right away. Removing that infected pulp prevents it from putting pressure on the tooth. Gutta-percha is filled in to replicate healthy dental pulp and will only fill the tooth to make it stable and comfortable.
Since a tooth is often made stronger with the help of a dental crown, you should regain full function in the tooth and not face any future pain.
Root Canal FAQs
Is getting a root canal painful?
Many patients may think that a root canal is a painful procedure. However, patients who receive a root canal do not feel excessive pain and anesthesia is used to numb teeth during the procedure. If anything, a tooth infection can be more painful than a root canal.
How long does a root canal take?
The root canal procedure is completed over one or two appointments of about 90 minutes each.
What should I do after the root canal procedure?
Avoid sticky foods following your root canal, and wait for the numbness to die down before eating food. You can use over-the-counter medication to handle any post-procedure discomfort.
Schedule Root Canal Treatment with our Dentist in Charlotte, NC
If you want to remove infection and get cleaner teeth today, call Dentistry of the Queen City at 704-486-8911 or request an appointment on our website. Dr. Reece and his team will provide treatment in their Charlotte, NC office. They will also be happy to answer any questions you may have about the root canal procedure.