When you get the bad news that you need a root canal, your first reaction may be to feel anxious. However, you’re not in for a painful experience. Procedures are refined to the point where you’ll feel as little with a root canal as you would from a typical filling.
The work is more extensive for a root canal, but anesthetics keep you pain-free. You may have some aches for a day to two after, but these are typically easily controlled with over-the-counter pain medications, if you experience discomfort at all.
Knowing what to expect can help you rid yourself of the dread. The team at Silver Lake Dentistry in Raymore, Missouri, wants to ensure the smoothest and most relaxing experience for all their patients. Here’s what you need to know before you arrive for your root canal.
Why do you need a root canal?
While your teeth seem as solid as any tissue in your body, each tooth has a hollow root. In that space, the root canal, there is soft tissue and nerves called the pulp. When the pulp is damaged or infected, removing it may be the best solution.
Your tooth can survive without the pulp tissue, absorbing the nutrients it needs from the tissue surrounding it. Our team recommends root canal therapy when preserving a natural tooth is a better alternative.
The first appointment
Your treatment starts with an anesthetic. This is often a two-stage process, with a numbing product used first so your discomfort is minimal during the main anesthetic injection.
After a pause to allow the freezing to work, your dentist opens up a space to remove your pulp tissue. Following this, a cleaning step takes place to ensure your root canal is clean and any signs of infection are gone.
A topical antibiotic keeps any infection from taking hold. The clean and hollow root canal is filled with gutta-percha, a natural rubber-like material that completely fills the opening. A temporary filling closes your tooth, and your first appointment is over.
The second appointment
Any aching or swelling typically occurs for a day or two after your initial appointment. You receive instructions for aftercare, including pain relief. Your next appointment is a few days later to monitor for infection. You also receive a permanent filling to close your tooth.
Depending on the integrity of your tooth’s crown, an artificial crown may be recommended to add strength to your repaired tooth. This can help extend the life of a tooth that may be weakened by damage or extensive dental work.
A successful root canal starts with choosing a knowledgeable and experienced dental practice. Contact the office by phone or schedule an appointment online. There’s nothing gained by postponing a root canal, so book your visit today.