Root Canals: An Explanation from a Dentist in Wichita

Root Canals: An Explanation from a Dentist in Wichita

Root canals are common dental procedures, but most people don’t understand why they are necessary or how the procedure works. Finding a dentist in Wichita to perform a root canal can be a difficult decision. Reflection Ridge Dental is experienced with all dental procedures including root canals and believes it’s important for patients to understand what to expect.

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal procedure is typically needed when the innermost layer of a tooth, known as the dental pulp, becomes infected or damaged. This can occur due to severe tooth decay, a deep cavity, trauma to the tooth, or repeated dental procedures on the same tooth. The dental pulp contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue, and when it becomes infected, it can cause significant pain and discomfort.

The primary goal of a root canal is to remove the infected or damaged dental pulp, clean the inside of the tooth, and then seal and restore it to prevent further infection and save the tooth from extraction.

What to Expect During a Root Canal

Most root canals are routine, and there are some typical steps involved in a root canal procedure.

Examination and X-rays are the first steps. The dentist examines the tooth, checks for signs of infection, and takes X-rays to assess the extent of the damage and the shape of the root canals.

Next, the dentist administers local anesthesia to numb the area surrounding the affected tooth, ensuring that you don't feel pain during the procedure.

The dentist then creates a small opening in the tooth's crown, usually using a dental drill. This allows access to the pulp chamber and root canals. Using specialized instruments called files, the dentist carefully removes the infected or damaged pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals. The files are used to clean and shape the canals to facilitate effective disinfection.

The dentist then flushes the pulp chamber and root canals with antiseptic solutions to eliminate bacteria and remove debris. This step is crucial to prevent reinfection. After a thorough cleaning, the dentist fills the root canals with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha. This rubber-like material seals the canals, preventing bacteria from re-entering and causing reinfection.

In most cases, a temporary filling is placed in the access opening. A few weeks later, after ensuring the tooth is free of infection, a permanent filling or dental crown is placed to restore the tooth's structure and function.

The duration of a root canal procedure may vary depending on the tooth's complexity and the severity of the infection. Reflection Ridge Dental offers same-day crowns, however, sometimes, additional appointments may be required to complete the treatment successfully.

It's worth noting that modern techniques and anesthesia make root canals relatively comfortable procedures. However, it's common to experience some mild soreness or sensitivity in the treated tooth and surrounding tissues after the anesthesia wears off. The dentist may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers or prescribe medication to manage any discomfort during the healing process.

It's important to follow the dentist's instructions for post-treatment care and maintain good oral hygiene to promote healing and ensure the long-term success of the root canal procedure. Regular dental check-ups will also allow your dentist to monitor the tooth and ensure that it remains healthy.

Experiencing Tooth Pain?

If you’re looking for a dentist in Wichita or are experiencing pain in a tooth or teeth, you should contact Reflection Ridge Dental right away. We can get you on the schedule as soon as possible to help resolve your tooth pain and what is causing it.