For many people, the words “root canal” seem to strike fear. It’s viewed as an extremely painful procedure that you should avoid at all costs. But root canals aren’t something you need to be afraid of. At Claremont Dental Institute, Dr. Vijay Patel, an experienced Claremont, CA dentist, offers traditional root canals as well as the Gentle Wave root canal procedure.
How Do I Know if I Need a Root Canal?
The pain that you hear about so often with root canals is actually the pain caused by the infection itself. Root canal procedures are needed when tooth decay isn’t treated soon enough and the bacteria make their way to the pulp inside the tooth. This causes the pulp to become swollen and causes pain. The pulp is where the nerves of your tooth end.
You’ll know you need a root canal if you start experiencing sharp pain in a tooth, particularly when you put pressure on it. Your gums may be swollen and tender around that tooth, and you could experience sudden sensitivity to hot or cold food and beverages. The tooth in question may become darker and discolored.
The Root Canal Process
To determine if you need a root canal, Dr. Patel will perform a thorough oral examination and do x-rays to see the situation. If it’s determined that you need a root canal, the area is numbed with a local anesthetic to keep you comfortable. If you suffer from dental fear, we also offer sedation dentistry so that you can be completely relaxed during this procedure.
Then, a small hole is made in your tooth. A tool called an endodontic file is used to scrape out all of the infected or damaged pulp. Once this pulp is removed, you’ll no longer have to suffer from that sharp pain you’ve been feeling. The inside of your tooth is thoroughly cleaned and rinsed out.
The inside of the tooth is filled with a material called gutta-percha. It’s injected into the tooth so that you don’t experience more decay. Dr. Patel will then do digital impressions of your tooth so that a custom dental crown can be made. Your tooth is filed down slightly so the crown can fit over it, creating a natural-looking dental restoration.
Gentle Wave Treatment
An alternative to the traditional method, the Gentle Wave procedure can provide a better root canal therapy experience. Gentle Wave utilizes water and soundwaves to “ultra-clean” the chambers inside the tooth. This thoroughly removes any infected or damaged pulp and debris that are inside your tooth.
You also have more stability after this form of treatment than with the traditional root canal method. Less tooth material is removed in order to clean out the inside of the tooth. It’s less invasive and keeps your tooth more stable when you look at the long term impacts.
Root Canals at Your Claremont, California Dentist
If you need a root canal, go to a dentist that will make sure you get the gentlest care possible. Call us today or schedule an appointment online to get started.