What is a root canal?

At Santa Fe Dental in Edmond, Oklahoma, we know one thing no patient likes hearing when visiting our office is “root canal.” But what, exactly, is a root canal, and when might you need one?

A root canal is a treatment we use to repair and save a tooth that is infected or badly decayed to the point where the nerve is involved. In the past, if a patient had a tooth with a diseased nerve, dentists would recommend an extraction. Today, however, with a procedure called root canal therapy, available at our office, you may save that tooth—and your beautiful smile—after all!

Here are some symptoms that indicate a decayed or infected tooth, courtesy of WebMD:

• Severe toothache pain upon chewing, biting or application of pressure
• One tooth consistently more sensitive to hot or cold than other teeth
• Pain that hurts without any stimulus, keeps you awake or wakes you up at night
• A tooth that feels loose
• Discoloration (a darkening) of the tooth
• Pain that persists weeks following a filling or replacement of a filling
• Chronic pain and/or pressure that may extend to the ear, eye or neck

If any of these symptoms apply to you, we recommend you schedule an appointment with Santa Fe Dental.

The best way to avoid a root canal is to practice good oral hygiene at home, and that includes brushing at least twice a day and flossing to reduce plaque and bacteria. For more tips on how to avoid root canal therapy or for general questions about your dental treatment, we invite you to ask Edmond dentists Dr. Allen and Dr. Hansen during your next visit at our convenient Edmond office!

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