Getting a root canal is one of the most feared dental procedures a person can get. It is also one of the least understood, which is a major reason there is so much anxiety about it. Truthfully, the process is mostly painless and can relieve serious conditions and symptoms. If you are nervous about this upcoming treatment, you can take comfort in learning more about it. Understanding how it works can help you feel more positive and less anxious.
The most common reason for this therapy is to treat an infection that has developed in the tooth. It is also useful when the patient has a deep cavity and widespread decay. Damage to a tooth such as a crack or a fracture may also require this treatment. A person can avoid having this therapy by practicing good oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily will keep teeth healthy and strong. Seeing the dentist at least every six months will also reduce the risk of decay and infections.
A person may first believe a root canal is necessary because of certain symptoms. Severe toothaches that do not improve after taking pain medication indicate an infection or large cavity. To confirm the need for this treatment, the dentist will examine the patient. There will be a series of X-rays to identify whether the cavity is deep enough or the infection serious enough to need this procedure.
Once the dentist decides to do a root canal, the patient will come into the office and get comfortable in the dental chair. The dentist will numb the person with a local anesthetic. The dentist will then place rubber dams around the tooth to keep it dry. Once the anesthetic takes effect, the dentist can begin the procedure.
The dentist will then drill into the tooth through the enamel and dentin layers. Next, the dentist will remove the pulp, the chamber that contains vessels and nerves. This area is where infection typically is. The dentist can then flush out the root canals and reshape them so they can be filled. The dentist may also place some medication in the tooth to kill any remaining bacteria.
The dentist will then seal the tooth to prevent further decay or infection. After polishing and smoothing the tooth, the dentist will check the patient’s bite to make sure it is comfortable. Sometimes, the dentist will place a crown over the tooth after a root canal to strengthen it. There may also be a follow-up appointment a few weeks after this procedure to make sure the patient is free of pain.
No one wants to have to undergo a root canal. Still, the process does not have to cause fear or stress. Your dentist has the knowledge and training to successfully perform this treatment. You can then have pain relief and enjoy good oral health once more.
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