After visiting the dentist because you have a severe toothache, you are given the news that you need to have a root canal. Do you know what to expect? Discover what a root canal is, why it’s being recommended, and what you can expect to experience when undergoing this type of dental treatment.
What is the Purpose of a Root Canal?
Root canals are a specialized dental procedure that is designed to remove an infection that has formed deep inside the tooth. Infections can form inside the tooth – known as the pulp of the tooth – when the protective enamel of the tooth is broken either by severe tooth decay or an injury.
Why Does it Seem Like Every Toothache Needs a Root Canal?
It may seem like every time you visit the dentist for a toothache the treatment recommendation is a root canal. Why is it?
Usually, when you experience a toothache that is severe enough for you to schedule a visit to the dentist, it is no longer caused by minor tooth decay. Instead, the pain you are experiencing is a direct result of an infection that has formed in the pulp of a tooth. The only way to remove the infection and relieve the pain is to take antibiotics and have a root canal.
What to Expect During Root Canal Treatment
People’s first reaction upon hearing that you are getting a root canal is to mention that they are painful. In the past, root canals used to be painful. However, thanks to advances in dental technology and new techniques used to perform root canals, they are no longer painful.
If you are getting a root canal you can expect the following to occur:
- Administration of local anesthesia – your dentist will use local anesthesia to numb the infected tooth and the areas surrounding it. This will help you to not experience any pain during your root canal procedure.
- Placing of a dental dam – dentists need to keep the tooth clean and dry while working on it. A dental dam protects the tooth that is being worked on by isolating it from the rest of the mouth.
- Create an opening in the tooth – using specialized dental tools, your dentist will create a small opening in the top of the tooth. This opening allows your dentist to reach the pulp of the tooth and work to remove the infection.
- Clear up the infection – small files will be used by your dentist to remove the infected or diseased pulp of the tooth. Most dentists will remove the entire pulp of the tooth, as it is the most effective way to treat an infection. When removing the whole pulp, your dentist may use water to clean it out and then use additional files to create tiny canals in the tooth.
- Application of antimicrobial gel – to reduce your risk of future infection, your dentist will apply antimicrobial gel into the tooth which will kill any bacteria that may still be present.
- Clean and dry the tooth.
- Filling the tooth with a rubber-like material – this material closes up the tooth and strengthens it
- Using a filling to close up the hole in the tooth – a filling is used to close up the hole in the tooth. If a crown is going to be placed on the tooth at another appointment, your dentist will put in a temporary filling until the crown is ready. Sometimes a crown is not needed, and a permanent filling can be placed.
Have a Toothache? Call to Schedule an Emergency Dental Appointment
If you are currently experiencing a toothache, it is important to get it looked at by a dentist to determine if a root canal is needed. The sooner you are seen by a dentist the sooner you can find relief from the pain caused by your toothache.
Call Hancock Village Dental to schedule an emergency dental appointment so a dentist can assess your situation and determine the best course of treatment.