One of the procedures that many young adults dread hearing that they will need is a root canal. While many people have had the occasional cavity filling, root canals definitely have a reputation as far as restorative dental work goes. One important thing to note is that root canals get that reputation from how they were done decades ago and there have actually been many advancements in dental procedures since then that make the process much less of an ordeal. In fact, many patients are often shocked that their first root canal isn’t as big of a deal as the rumors make it sound like it will be. In this article, we will cover what root canals are, when they are needed, symptoms you might need one, and how to prevent one from being necessary. If you have specific oral health questions please contact us for dental treatments in Lewiston.  

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What Is A Root Canal

A root canal procedure is a dental treatment to remove infected or inflamed tooth pulp on the inside of the tooth. Like with a cavity, root canals are a procedure that involve removing decay, cleaning the remaining tooth, and filling the tooth with a synthetic filling to protect the remainder of the tooth long-term. A root canal is an endodontic treatment designed to protect a tooth. Underneath the gumline there are two roots to each tooth, inside the tooth is the tooth pulp. If the pulp is infected in one root the infection needs to be removed before it spreads and causes serious problems. Left unchecked, an infected tooth can lead to abscesses, severe toothaches, and tooth loss. A root canal works by entering from the top of the tooth, removing the infected section of the tooth and then filling the tooth. Modern-day root canals are very similar to a dental filling. 

How Do I Know If I Need A Root Canal?

Unfortunately for us, our teeth aren’t as responsive as other areas of the body when it comes to telling the brain about problems. Because the outermost layer of our teeth doesn’t have nerves, it is common to not notice signs of decay early on. This is why routine dental visits are recommended. Exams and cleanings go a long way in protecting teeth from damage. But if a tooth root is infected common symptoms include toothaches, swelling, and pain around the jaw. A root infection can also lead to an abscessed tooth which has other unique symptoms like a strange bad taste in the mouth or an expulsion of liquid and pus. 

How Can I Prevent Needing A Root Canal?

Regular dental checkups are the best way to prevent a root canal from being necessary. Listening to your dentist, following their advice on brushing, flossing and what to eat can all work together to prevent all kinds of dental issues from root canals and cavities to gum disease. 

Dental Cleanings & Restorative Care in Lewiston Maine

If you live in Lewiston Maine and are looking to make dental appointments for patients of any age, please give us a call. Our dental office offers services for patients of every age from pediatrics to young adults and beyond. For more information please click below to contact us.