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A root canal is literally a procedure to clean out the canals inside of a tooth’s roots. A root canal can help to save a tooth that has been damaged, improve gum and overall oral health, alleviate pain, and preserve the appearance of your smile. If you need a root canal, your Orlando dentist will recommend the procedure and work with you to help you figure out if it’s right for you.

When Is a Root Canal Needed?

A root canal is needed when the roots of a tooth are damaged. This can be caused by trauma such as a car or sports accident, or can occur because a cavity has progressed too far to be treated with a simple filling. In many cases where a root canal is needed, infection has already consumed the tooth and gums, causing pain and posing health risks.

Diagnosing Damaged Roots

Before ordering a root canal, a dentist will perform an examination and take X-rays. In most cases when a root canal is needed, patients are visiting the dentist because of pain or noticeable problems. An examination will confirm severe damage to the tooth, but X-rays will allow the dentist to see the damage to the root that will necessitate a root canal.

Root Canal Procedure

Anesthesia is administered before a root canal procedure. After the tooth is numb, the dentist drills a hole through the crown of the tooth and into the root. A file is used to remove the pulp inside of the tooth that has decayed and any infected tissue that’s present. The canals and tooth are flushed out with water, and then a special material that prevents infection is used to fill the opening.

After the root canal has been completed, a temporary filling material is used to fill the hole until the tooth heals. When enough time has passed, the temporary filling may be removed and a permanent filling may be placed on top of the special material. If the tooth is too far gone, a post may be placed to lend the tooth more support. In cases where the tooth has been too badly damaged, a crown may be created and placed instead.

Is a Root Canal Uncomfortable?

Root canals have a stigma associated with them that implies discomfort and a lengthy procedure, but this is no longer accurate. Since an anesthetic is administered, root canals are no more uncomfortable than fillings. Root canal procedures are usually pretty quick as well, with most lasting no longer than 90 minutes. Understanding that root canals are not to be feared or dreaded may help you save your tooth and preserve your oral health.

If you suspect that you may need a root canal, call 407-898-3471 today to schedule an appointment.