Do You Need A Root Canal? What Can You Expect Of The Procedure If You Do
No one likes the thoughts of getting a root canal, but it might be a necessary procedure if your tooth has become cracked or otherwise infected. If you are experiencing any type of pain in your tooth, it is wise to visit your dentist so they can determine if you might need this procedure. You might need one if you are experiencing pain that can range from mild to severe, and gets worse when you bite down on the affected area. What can you expect of the procedure should you need a root canal?
The first thing your dentist will do is x-ray the area to determine what is causing the pain or discomfort to the tooth. They will look for cracked teeth or possible infection in the tooth pulp that might be extending toward the tooth's root. If the tooth is infected, you will most likely be prescribed antibiotics to get rid of the infection before the root canal will take place. If you have any cracks in your teeth or any damage to the inside of the tooth or root, you will most likely require a root canal.
You don't have to worry, root canals typically aren't any more painful than having your tooth filled when you have a cavity. This is because the dentist will apply a local anesthetic to the affected tooth to numb the pain during the procedure. In some cases, you can ask for sedation treatment, meaning if you prefer to be asleep, ask your doctor if they offer this treatment, otherwise, you won't notice much of a difference, if at all between a normal filling and a root canal during the procedure.
The actual root canal is called a pulpectomy. The dentist is creating an opening into the affected tooth and removing the pulp. This leaves a cavity or a hollow tooth in its place. The roots have been opened up to remove any infection or damaged pulp. The dentist will then fill this cavity with what is known as gutta-percha material. They will then re-seal the tooth with cement. You will most likely never notice the difference between your actual tooth and the sealant once the areas has healed completely.
In some cases, you might experience some discomfort after the procedure once the anesthesia wears off, but in most cases, it shouldn't feel much different than if you had gotten a cavity filled. All you need to do to care for the tooth afterward is to practice good dental hygiene on a regular basis and visit your dentist for cleanings and examinations regularly. If you have weaker teeth, avoid chewing on hard foods like ice as this could cause your teeth to break.