Demystifying the Root Canal

Your dentist just gave you the news everyone dreads hearing; you need to have a root canal. Given all the misconceptions of endodontic treatment it is reasonable that the idea of having the procedure would be stressful. Going “blind” into any situation will cause trepidation; so here we will define what a root canal is and what you can expect. Then hopefully, realize that all the worrying is useless. That a root canal is to be looked forward to oddly enough because it will relieve your pain not cause more.Scientific advances today have made the procedure almost entirely pain-free, and possibly even accomplished in a single visit.

Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines root canal as “dental operation to save a tooth by removing the contents of its root canal and filling the cavity with a protective substance. Endodontic treatment can be required for a number of reasons; some examples are deep tooth decay,a cracked or chippedtooth or gum disease. Symptoms of a root canal infection depend on the causebut can include sharp pain,a dull ache with pressure as well as swelling and tenderness of the gums. No matter what the cause is having the treatment when needed is essential to saving the tooth, also because of the possibility of infection in the tooth. Which left untreated could spread to the bone; although unlikely it is still best to get the tooth treated as soon as possible.

Although all general dentists are trained in endodontic treatment,they will usually refer root calls to Endodontic Associates. These specialists have studied two or more year’s longer than general dentists in all areas concerning dental pulp; including diagnosing and managing of disease.

Now let’s discuss the actual procedure and what to expect. Before beginning the treatment, your endodonticwill administer a local anesthetic, causing the process to cause no more pain than a filling. Atiny hole madeon the affected tooth for access to the pulp chamber. Specializedinstruments are used to clean out the diseased pulp. Don’t worry this is not painful. Once removed the tooth is no longer able to feel pain. Now the inside of the canals are cleaned and filled with a root canal filler and sealant. The sealer prevents the tooth from infection with bacteria. The last step of the treatment is to fill the access hole. That’s it; the root canal is finished!

You may expect minimal painafter the procedure is completed. Ibuprofenand aspirin should be utilized to ease any discomfort or tenderness. An antibiotic might be prescribed to prevent any infection from setting up during the healing process. You will have to have a permanentfilling or crown applied to restore any lost tooth structure. Your endodonticwill refer you back to your general dentist to discuss your options in this area.

Armed with the correct information you can arrive at your root canal appointment confident in the knowledge that you know what to expect to happen and why it’s necessary.

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