Root canal procedures can help patients live a more functional and pain-free life. Often, patients may experience pain in their teeth because an infection has entered the center of their tooth. During a root canal procedure at Boulder Dental Designs, your dentist, Dr. Montoya or Dr. Lai, can remove the problem area and replace it with a prosthetic.
WHY DO I NEED A ROOT CANAL?
We recommend a root canal to most patients if the center of their tooth becomes infected. There are three main parts of the tooth, the outer shell (the enamel), the middle layer (the dentin), and the inner layer (the pulp).
Debris and bacteria rub against the outer layer of the tooth, the enamel. If bacteria sits in the tooth and is not removed manually with a toothbrush or floss, it can start to eat away at the tooth. As the acids in the bacteria begin to attack the tooth, they make their way through the layers of the tooth. Over time, the bacteria may enter the center of the tooth, the pulp. The pulp is where the nerves and blood vessels live. A hole is formed from the outside of the tooth to the inner pulp, which is why many patients before a root canal experience sensitivity. The tooth’s inner nerves are exposed to hot, cold, and even air temperatures. A root canal will remove the bacteria that has festered in your tooth.
WHAT ARE COMMON SYMPTOMS BEFORE A ROOT CANAL?
Patients may experience a variety of different symptoms before needing a root canal. As mentioned above, sensitivity to hot and cold is a common symptom because there is often a hole leading from the outside of the tooth to the pulp. Patients may also experience pain when eating. There may be visible changes around the tooth. For example, patients may notice a broken or cracked tooth, swollen gums, darker gum appearance, or the appearance of pimples around the affected tooth. Contact our dentists today if you experience any of these symptoms or are worried you may need a root canal.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SURGICAL NON-SURGICAL ROOT CANAL?
When told they need a root canal, many patients may assume that they need major surgery. However, this is not always true. At Boulder Dental Designs, we provide non-surgical root canals for patients in Boulder, Colorado, and surrounding areas.
An incision is made on the gums to expose the tooth during a surgical root canal. In this procedure, we remove the infection in the tooth’s center from the side. In a non-surgical root canal procedure, the condition in the pulp of the tooth is removed from the top, or the crown, or the tooth. Many patients like to think of non-surgical root canals as deep fillings. Like in a dental filling procedure, your dentist uses a drill to remove the decay from the top of your tooth. Non-surgical root canals have a shorter recovery time and infection risk because the procedure is less invasive.
DOES A ROOT CANAL HURT?
No, a root canal should not hurt. You may feel pressure and slight discomfort during your root canal, but it should not be painful. Our dentists at Boulder Dental Designs use various sedation techniques to make you comfortable during the procedure. Our dentists may use laughing gas, sedation pills, and conscious sedation. If you are worried about pain or discomfort during the process, please call our office to learn more about our sedation techniques.
A non-surgical root canal procedure can improve the function and appearance of your smile. For more information about non-surgical root canals or to schedule an appointment, please call our office. In addition to non-surgical root canals, we provide family dentistry in Boulder, Colorado, restorative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and more.