If your dentist has recommended you for a root canal, you may have questions about what to expect. Despite being a very common dental procedure, misconceptions about what it actually entails continue to persist. In this brief article, we will take a look at the root canal procedure and what you can do to prepare for your appointment.
What is a root canal procedure?
A root canal is a quick, comfortable, effective treatment for removing infection, eliminating pain, and preserving a diseased or decaying tooth. Millions of root canals are performed every year in the U.S. During a root canal, the inflamed or infected pulp inside the tooth is cleaned out and the now-empty canal is filled and sealed. Modern anaesthesia and in-office sedation options allow patients to have a virtually pain-free experience. After your root canal, you will need to have a crown placed on the tooth to preserve its structural integrity and strength.
Who performs root canals?
Some general dentists are able to perform simple root canals on the front teeth, but most likely you’ll be referred to a specialist for your procedure. Endodontists are dentists who received an extra two years of training to treat problems that occur inside a tooth.
What should I expect during my procedure?
Getting a root canal is very similar to having a cavity filled. First an x-ray will be taken to confirm the diagnosis and identify the exact location and extent of disease or decay. If you are prone to anxiety during dental treatments, you may be offered light sedation. Your dentist will first begin by numbing the area around the tooth so that you are comfortable. Then, a hole is made in the crown of the tooth so that the inner pulp is exposed. Using a special microscope, the dentist is able to see the canal or canals of the tooth. Each canal is then carefully cleaned out and filled with a biocompatible cement. Finally, the hole in the tooth is sealed and you are ready to go.
What should I expect after my procedure?
After your root canal, you will need to have a crown placed on the tooth that was treated to protect against future damage and to restore structural integrity. For most people, having a root canal brings complete relief of their dental pain. For others, they may experience some mild, lingering sensitivity or discomfort. This is common but be sure to let your dentist know.
If you believe you may be in need of a root canal procedure, contact Center for Beautiful Smiles today. We’ll schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Pham and decide the best course of treatment for your unique situation.