June 10, 2017
Did you know that root canals are not painful? There are a lot of myths about root canal procedures, probably because they are rare. But dental restorations like root canals are sometimes necessary, but it’s always better to keep your teeth healthy.
Call us today at 816-399-5539 to make your next appointment for a dental exam. Dr. Stiver has done many root canal procedures over the years to end toothaches and save teeth, and a dental exam can help identify if one is needed. But of course, the best thing is not to need one in the first place.
Why You Might Need A Root Canal
One of the most common dental problems facing Americans is tooth decay, also called cavities. These happen because there are harmful bacteria in your mouth. They produce an acid that burns holes in your enamel.
The problem is that your enamel has no nerves in it. That means you can have a cavity growing worse every day without ever realizing it. Once that cavity gets deep enough, the bacteria behind it can reach your dental pulp.
This is where all the blood vessels and nerves for the tooth are found. When the bacteria infect it, then you feel it. These infections usually cause powerful toothaches. They may come and go or be constant, but they sure hurt. What’s worse is how the infection also attacks the blood vessels, starving your tooth and turning your enamel brittle. A root canal is needed at this point to save your tooth.
That’s not the only reason you might need a root canal. The dental pulp can get inflamed if you have trauma or an injury to your tooth. Sometimes things are just fine, but other times, the inflammation acts similar to an infection and puts your tooth at risk. Root canals can help with this as well.
Root Canal Procedures Explained
But what is a root canal anyway? While they can differ a little bit depending on the person and situation, here’s what your root canal procedure will likely entail.
- First, our Kansas City dentist takes digital X-rays of your teeth. Dr. Stiver uses these to locate exactly where the infection is inside your tooth.
- The tooth and surrounding area are then numbed using a local anesthetic. If necessary, you can also get dental sedation at this time so you are comfortable and relaxed.
- Dr. Stiver gently makes a small opening in the infected tooth.
- Combining his years of training with specialized tools, he carefully removes the infected pulp. This gets rid of the infection.
- An inert material is used to fill in the space left behind. This makes your tooth stronger.
- Lastly, Dr. Stiver will place a dental crown over your tooth. This seals the small opening, but it also makes the tooth stronger should the infection have weakened the enamel too much.
Tips For Not Needing A Root Canal
Here’s the thing: Root canals are not painful! That’s a stubborn myth, but it’s still not true. With local anesthetic and our Kansas City dentist’s skill, yours can have a virtually pain-free root canal. That said, keeping your teeth healthy is always a better deal. Here are some tips for avoiding root canals in the future.
– Brush and floss regularly
Food particles left in your mouth feed those harmful bacteria behind cavities and infections. The cleaner you keep your teeth and gums, the fewer bacteria you’ll have. That translates to having a lower risk of needing fillings or root canals.
– Visit our Kansas City, MO dental office every six months
Again, cavities can happen in your enamel without you ever realizing it. That means you need the trained eye and digital X-rays from our Kansas City dentist. Dr. Stiver can spot cavities before they break through your enamel and treat them with a dental filling or dental crown. This will stop the cavity growing worse and prevent an infection.
– Repair tooth decay with cavities as soon as you know it exists
Along the same lines, you cannot wait once you know there are cavities in your teeth. Even if you feel it’s better to wait a bit, this is increasing your chances of an infection requiring a root canal procedure.