Often people experience pain in a tooth that can be acute or a dull ache that just won’t go away. Or the problem may be a sudden sensitivity to hot or cold. When this happens our dentist, Dr. Grethen Yarborough, DDS will often tell our patients after a thorough examination that they have an infection or significant decay in the roots of a tooth. The course of treatment includes an endodontic treatment, in other words a root canal in Irmo. Mention the term “root canal” and most patients squirm dreading the pain that they have heard about. In reality with advances in dental techniques and anesthesia there should be no pain involved in an endodontic treatment just a slight feeling of pressure as our doctor works on the tooth.
The pain that people feel when a tooth’s roots are infected or decaying comes from bacteria, plaque and debris getting inside the tooth’s soft inner core, the pulp through a crack in the tooth, a chip or a decayed spot on the surface. The pulp is generally protected by a harder surface called the dentin, which is further protected above the gum line by the enamel and below the gum line by the cementum. During a root canal in Irmo our dentist will first numb the area and then drill to open the tooth and reveal it’s roots, our doctor will then use miniature instruments to remove the entire pulp from each root. A mature tooth can survive without its pulp and will get nutrients from the surrounding gum. Once the infected pulp has been removed the canals are filled with a rubber-like substance that seals them and prevents re-infection. A crown is then placed on the tooth to further protect it from decay and infections and to restore full functionality to the tooth.
If our dentist hadn’t performed the root canal in Irmo the infection would have probably worsened in the tooth and there may have been a very painful abscess. Root canal is a measure that is not only designed to relieve pain but to also save the tooth from eventual loss. If you have pain or sensitivity in a tooth don’t hesitate call our office for an appointment with our doctor.