If you’ve never had a root canal before, you may wonder what this procedure entails and why it’s necessary. Although these dental treatments have received a bad reputation over time, dentists have refined the process to make them painless and simple. In fact, most patients who receive one are surprised to discover the procedure actually alleviates discomfort instead of contributing to it. Discover more about what you need to know before having a root canal below.
A Guide to Understanding Root Canals
Why Would Someone Need One?
Root canal therapy is recommended when the roots of a tooth become infected or inflamed. Dentists use this procedure to eliminate the infected pulp, which can contribute to severe pain or sensitivity while preserving the integrity of the tooth. If left unaddressed, the infection could worsen, leading to a need for extraction. Thus, this treatment is a less-invasive, practical alternative to tooth removal.
How Is the Procedure Performed?
Dentists start by administering local anesthesia to numb the area. Next, they create a small opening in the top of the tooth, through which the damaged pulp can be extracted. The inner chamber of the tooth will be cleaned to eradicate any lingering bacteria, and the dentist may also administer an antimicrobial solution to minimize the risk of further infection. Thereafter, the tooth is filled with a dental composite. In some cases, the dentist will recommend a permanent crown to protect a tooth which has had extensive decay.
What Does Aftercare Entail?
Following the procedure, you may experience some sensitivity which can be relieved by taking over-the-counter pain medication. Be sure to follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions, which may include avoiding chewing on the side of the affected area until a permanent crown is applied. It’s important to continue brushing, flossing, and going for regular cleanings to support the health of the restored tooth, other teeth, and gums afterward.
If you think you might be a candidate for a root canal treatment, allow the professionals from Drs Bradford and Catchings Family Dentistry to help. Specializing in general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry, this full-service oral care facility makes patients throughout Augusta County, VA, feel comfortable and welcome with every appointment. Explore their full list of services online or call (540) 213-1966 to schedule an appointment.