Each tooth in your mouth is made up of a hard exterior with soft tissue on the inside. If that inner tissue (also called pulp) is compromised by an infection or inflammation, urgent root canal therapy may be necessary to save the tooth. Check out these frequently asked questions about root canals—the more you know about this common dental procedure, the more comfortable you’ll be scheduling an appointment with Dr. Beverly Claiborne at her Fremont dentist office.
When Is a Root Canal Necessary?
A tooth infection starts off as a small cavity or hole in the surface of the tooth. As that cavity grows, bacteria invade the inside of the tooth and irritates the pulp, causing the infection. Many people don’t realize this has happened until the pain becomes unbearable. A root canal should ideally be performed before the onset of pain (which is why regular bi-annual dental appointments with your Fremont dentist are recommended), but when the pain intensifies an urgent root canal is a necessity if you want to keep the tooth.
Why Is a Root Canal Preferred Over Extraction?
Some people opt for extraction instead of a root canal, but keeping the tooth is preferable for a number of reasons. Firstly, removing the tooth could open you up to future dental problems, like an infection in the exposed section of your gums. Losing a tooth and not replacing it promptly could cause you to lose bone tissue in your jaw. Extraction could also make eating less pleasurable and talking difficult. Some people become self-conscious about smiling. Root canal therapy can help you avoid these issues.
What Should You Expect at a Root Canal Appointment?
Your dentist will first administer local anesthesia to numb the nerves inside of and around the targeted tooth. During the procedure, the inflamed pulp is carefully removed and the tooth is thoroughly disinfected. After the tooth is clean, it will be refilled with a material that will protect it from future damage. At your next appointment, a permanent crown will be fabricated to reinforce the tooth and keep it healthy.
Consult with Dr. Claiborne
A root canal procedure will be most effective at saving your tooth if it’s done in the earliest possible stage of an infection. Call Dr. Beverly Claiborne’s Fremont dentist office at (510) 792-8765 today to schedule an initial examination.