If your dentist tells you that you need a root canal, you may go into a temporary panic. Unfortunately, root canals have gained the reputation—unfairly—that they cause great discomfort. Patients who are facing root canal treatment should get accurate information on the procedure to calm any fears they may have.
The purpose of root canal treatment is to save a tooth that might otherwise be at risk due to advanced decay or injury. When preparing for the procedure, it can be helpful to know what is happening so that you will have an idea of what to expect. First, your dentist will numb the area around the targeted tooth using a local anesthetic. Some patients may also choose some form of sedation to relax them during the treatment.
After the area has been numbed, the dentist will drill a small hole in the tooth in order to access the pulp chamber. Pulp material is removed in order to eliminate the presence of bacteria in the tooth’s innermost section. The empty pulp chamber is then thoroughly cleaned to eliminate any lingering bacteria. The empty chamber is then sealed using an inert rubber-like substance.
Teeth that are treated with root canals are more susceptible to breaking, so these teeth are typically fitted with crowns for additional protection.
With modern instruments and adequate anesthesia, any discomfort resulting from a root canal is generally minimal and can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications. In fact, most patients who actually undergo root canals report that the experience is comparable to having a cavity filled. Also, because root canals are used to treat conditions that can cause significant pain for patients, pain relief may actually be an outcome of this intervention.
Not only can a root canal save your tooth, but it can also eliminate infection that could otherwise access the bloodstream and spread throughout the body, creating the risk of systemic infection.
Do you want to get the facts about root canal treatment? Call our office to speak to one of our knowledgeable staff members and address any concerns that you may have about this intervention.