Root Canals 101

Root canal: Merely the name of the produces dread in people. “I’m having a root canal done.” Someone bemoans and you answer: “Oh. I’m sorry.” However, if you were to ask people what exactly a root canal is or why they’re to be feared, you’re likely to get all sorts of answers.  As with many things, people tend to fear what they don’t understand. So Dr. Zachary Sisler of Shippensburg PA would like to help you learn a little more about the dreaded root canal.

What is A Root Canal?

A root canal treatment or therapy, more often simply referred to as a “root canal”, becomes necessary when the tissues inside your tooth- the pulp- becomes infected. This usually occurs when deep decay (cavities) or a chip or crack in the surface of your tooth has allowed bacteria to slip inside your tooth. This infection in the pulp can spread down through the root canals (hence the name of the procedure) of your teeth into tissues of your gums forming an abscess. An abscess is a very severe and painful infection that can be dangerous to your overall health, even leading to heart disease or other serious health problems.

How Do I Know I Need A Root Canal?

Signs that a root canal may be necessary are sensitivity of the tooth to hot and cold, sensitivity to touch or while chewing, and inflamed and sensitive gums around the tooth. Informing your dentist of these and any other symptoms you may be having during exams will allow he or she to decide if a root canal is necessary and appropriate for your condition. Some dentists will perform root canals. Others will refer you to an endodontist. An endodontist is a dental specialist who specializes in treating the insides of your teeth.

Root Canal Treatment

A root canal therapy involves your dentist drilling down into the crown of your afflicted tooth and removing the infected pulp from inside the tooth and the root canals. As adults our teeth are nourished by the surrounding tissues so we no longer require the pulp. After the pulp has been removed, a biocompatible material will temporarily fill the now-empty space inside your tooth until restoration can begin. In some cases, where tooth decay has reached the roots of a tooth and made it unstable, a tiny metal rod may need to be inserted down into the root to hold the tooth in place.

Restoration is the process in which a crown will be created and placed over your compromised tooth. Dr. Sisler creates the crown using advanced technology, matching it to the natural hue of your teeth. Within several days, the swelling at the root canal site will go down and the “new” tooth can be used to chew food and cleaned just like your natural teeth.

Root Canal Treatment in Shippensburg PA

So a root canal is actually not so scary after all. Instead it’s a beneficent procedure designed to alleviate pain and save your natural teeth, allowing you to smile confidently and chew normally. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in this case as with most illnesses. Brushing twice daily, flossing daily and scheduling regular exams with Dr. Sisler are all important steps to avoid needing a root canal, especially if your teeth have recently developed any chips or cracks. But if you do need a root canal, now you know there’s really nothing to fear. To schedule with Dr. Sisler today, call (717) 271-7052 or schedule an appointment online.