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Ever wanted to see a tiger undergo a root canal? We knew it. The Rome Zoo recently made public video footage of a sumatran tiger undergoing a lengthy root canal. The procedure usually doesn’t require a team of five and several hours to complete — and that’s something humans can appreciate. Your dentist in the Energy Corridor District, performs root canals at Mark Gray DDS. Keep reading for more on the procedure (for us two-legged beings, that is).

Young boy smiling

Why Are Root Canals Necessary?

Root canals are necessary when the pulp (often called the “nerve”) of the tooth becomes infected, usually due to injury or poor oral hygiene. We call this a pulp disease. Left untreated, pulp diseases cause serious pain and result in the eventual loss of the tooth. You can prevent cavities and keep the inside of your teeth healthy by maintaining good dental hygiene habits, like brushing and flossing regularly and visiting your dentist as recommended. Maintaining good nutrition and avoiding tobacco are also important steps for enjoying healthy teeth and gums.

Signs You Need a Root Canal

The signs of a root canal are difficult to ignore. The pulp of the tooth is filled with nerves and blood vessels, so when it’s infected or diseased you’ll definitely feel the side effects. The number one symptom of diseased pulp is pain — a toothache you just can’t ignore. It can be a persistent, dull ache, or discomfort when you eat something sweet, hot, or cold. A sharp, sudden, intense pain may also occur due to an infection in the pulp.

You should also be on the lookout for visible signs you’ve got an infection beneath your tooth. Red, swollen, sensitive gums appear when you need a root canal. Or you may notice a pimple-like bump in the area below the tooth. The tooth may also get darker as a result of the infection in the root.

So, the signs you need a root canal include:

  • Toothache
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold or sugary foods and beverages
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Pimple-like bump in the area of the affected tooth
  • Tooth discoloration

What Happens During Root Canal Treatment?

Most root canals are completed over the course of two to three visits to the dentist. Rarely, a root canal requires just one visit.

  • First visit: Your dentist removes the infected pulp, cleans and reshapes the interior of the tooth. A temporary filling is usually placed, but sometimes the tooth will be left open for draining and complete healing of the infection.
  • Second visit: The permanent filling and crown are placed (the crown’s placement is sometimes carried over into a third appointment).

After each stage of the root canal treatment, you will experience the side effects related to any oral surgery. Minimize discomfort, bleeding, and swelling by following your dentist’s postop care instructions closely. Take pain medication as recommended and avoid strenuous activity for the first few days after your root canal.

Questions? Get In Touch With Mark Gray Dds

If you’ve got questions about a problem tooth or your upcoming root canal in Energy Corridor, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Gray’s office. Request an appointment online today!