What to Expect Before, During, and After a Root Canal

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Root canals have been considered an annoying procedure for years, but odds are most people will end up needing a root canal of some kind over their lifetime. While a root canal may seem scary at first, it is a fairly simple dental procedure that can help improve the quality of your smile and help your teeth stay healthy.

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a procedure that removes the infected or at-risk pulp of a tooth or multiple teeth. The pulp of a tooth contains the blood vessels and nerve endings of that tooth and is responsible for a lot of dental pain you may feel. You may need a root canal if you have a cracked or otherwise damaged tooth or a cavity that has grown so deep that it leaves your dental pulp exposed. This pulp can become infected, leading to pain and eventual tooth extraction if left untreated. A root canal involves entering the inside of the tooth and removing that pulp entirely. Once the tooth is cleaned, it is then filled to prevent any future cavities or infections from taking hold. This not only helps reduce dental pain, but it also prevents the need for dental extraction in most cases.

What to Expect

You may need a root canal if you experience pain when chewing or placing pressure on a tooth, prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold, dental discoloration, or gum tenderness, though in some cases infected pulp will have no symptoms. First, your dentist will take an x-ray of your mouth to determine the state of the tooth. This allows them to see if there are any visible cavities, and to check out the severity of the decay. If your dentist decides that you need a root canal, it can sometimes be performed on the same day. Root canals are not complicated procedures and require only a local anesthetic.

Your dentist will make sure the tooth is dry and cleaned and that the area is fully numbed. Then, they will drill a small access hole in the tooth to reach the pulp. The pulp is then loosened and removed from the tooth, from the center down into the roots, and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned to prevent future problems. Once this is done, the tooth is filled and the outside is smoothed over. In some cases, your dentist may delay the sealing process to ensure that the infection has fully cleared up. They will use a temporary filling, in this case, to protect your tooth from any damages. In most cases, there are no lasting sensations after a root canal except for some sensitivity around the gums.

If you are looking to schedule a root canal in the Mt Pleasant, SC area, give our office a call. Here at Anderson Dentistry, we work closely with our patients to help care for their whole mouth, and to make sure they are comfortable with any procedure or planned treatment method. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, feel free to reach out to us. Our team of trained dental professionals is more than happy to help.

Source(s): https://www.123dentist.com/whats-involved-in-root-canal-therapy/ and https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/root-canals#3