If you keep the word “root” and the word “canal” away from each other, everyone is happy. Take root beer or “Root for the home team!” as examples. Try floating down a canal in Venice, or a cruise through the Panama Canal, and it sounds delightful. But put them together and make the term “root canal”? That’s not a phrase that makes people smile! As your Carmichael dentists, we want you to know that root canal doesn’t have to be a bad thing — it means saving your tooth!

What Is a Root Canal?

Let’s get to the bottom of what the term root canal therapy really means, and maybe it won’t be quite so scary. Your teeth have roots, they’re what hold them in place and anchor them to your jaw. Each tooth has pulp, or tissue, that extents deep into your roots to nourish the tooth. If this pulp gets infected, it is impossible for your body to fight this infection on its own. Your root is going to need some intervention to get rid of the infection. What are the signs of an infected tooth?

If you have any of the following problems, it is important to come to Carmichael’s Marconi Dental Group for an appointment:

  • toothache
  • swelling of the cheek or gums
  • abscess of the gums
  • tooth sensitivity to hot or cold liquids
an image of a root canal

Don’t Worry!

There may be good news at your dental exam! If the pulp or tissue is still living, you will need only one visit to undo the damage. If two visits are necessary, that’s what it will take and together we’ll get you back to a healthy mouth. What do these visits involve? That’s where the word “canal” comes into play. Think of this as medicinal irrigation. From a certain perspective, it’s actually refreshing. Your root will be cleaned and irrigated to fight the infection and, if necessary, packed with antibiotic medication to fight the microbes. A temporary cap will be placed while all the good stuff is fighting the bad stuff.

All that’s left to do on the second visit is to fill the space with dental material, put a crown on and let your body heal. You can then put this little episode behind you. With the Marconi Dental Group, the latest pain management techniques, sedation options and modern antibiotics, you’ll soon be back to dreaming about the other canals — the ones with gondolas.