Feeling nervous about getting a root canal? Don’t Worry!
Root canals are a great solution to save your teeth.
Root canals are life-changing – they prevent teeth from being extracted! The goal of a root canal, also known as endodontic treatment, is to save a tooth that has been badly damaged from decay, disease or injury.
What is it?
Your teeth may be quite hard on the outside but on the inside, they are very soft and hold what’s called a pulp chamber. The pulp chamber is home to a nerve that can become infected or inflamed, causing a toothache. If this happens, a root canal procedure is required. A root canal removes the infected or inflamed nerve and re-fills the pulp chamber with a sealing material.
This procedure prevents the spread of infection and protects it from future re-infection. If an infected tooth is left untreated, the tissue around it could become infected or abscessed, which may lead to removal of the tooth.
Signs you may need a root canal:
- Prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold
- Tenderness to touch and chewing
- Discoloration of the tooth
- An opening is made into the top of the tooth to gain access to the pulp. The pulp and the canals are cleaned, and a medication is placed in the canal to fight the infection. A temporary seal is placed over the opening .
- The canals are cleaned, shaped, and filled with a rubber like material to seal them.
- After a root canal is done and settled down, a crown is placed over the tooth to avoid fracturing by eating or chewing.
You need to know
- Root canals will usually take several visits to complete
- At the first consultation visit the dentist will take x-rays and examine your teeth and mouth
- This will be followed by the root canal treatment where the dentist will remove the infected pulp
- At the next visit the dentist will complete the final restoration or fitting of a crown
- Further appointments may be needed if you have any problems or issues
How long does it take?
Most root canal treatments can be done in one session. However, more severe infections may need more than one appointment. Each session lasts about 1-2 hours.
Is it painful?
Although root canals have a bad reputation, modern techniques and anesthetic have come a long way to make the procedure as painless as possible. Most patients say that they feel comfortable during a root canal procedure.
You may be asked about
- Your dental history and medical history
- The pain and symptoms you are experiencing
Before your appointment
- No special preparation needed
What kind of post-treatment care is required after the procedure?
It is normal for teeth to become inflamed after a root canal procedure. You may experience sensitivity for the first several days after the procedure. Normal brushing and flossing routines can be continued immediately after the treatment.
- You can continue to brush your teeth as normal
- Avoid eating chewy or hard foods for the first few days
- Take care when flossing daily
- Reduce the amount of sugary food and drink you consume