Your First Root Canal
Your dentist just recommended endodontic therapy on one of your teeth; in other words, a root canal. You’ve heard a lot of stories about root canals in the past and probably have some concerns about what to expect.
But moving forward with your root canal treatment is essential to save your tooth. Without it, it’s just a matter of time before you need a dental extraction or the infection spreads to adjacent teeth. Getting endodontic therapy in a timely manner helps to save your smile as a whole.
Here’s what to expect:
You Won’t Have to Feel a Thing
Just like any other routine dental procedure, the tooth being restored will be fully anesthetized. Local anesthetic is applied to the area around it, preventing any discomfort once the treatment starts.
It Takes Longer Than a Filling
Depending on which tooth is being treated, it may have anywhere from 1-3 roots. This is a big factor when it comes to the length of your appointment (treating fewer roots takes less time.)
Additionally, some teeth have unique root anatomy, making them more challenging to treat. For example, a root may be curved or hooked at the end, requiring special resources to clean out the nerve canal and fill it.
Your dentist or endodontist will use a soft mouth prop to help you relax your jaws and facial muscles throughout the process.
Will I Hurt After My Root Canal?
If you’re slightly sore the next day, it’s usually where the local anesthetic was injected or due to some joint irritation. Plan to massage your face, jaw, and take an anti-inflammatory to prevent any potential discomfort before it starts.
The goal of endodontic therapy — aside from preserving your tooth — is to alleviate the risk of pain. Treating your tooth with a root canal is meant to help you avoid any potential discomfort from an infection. Today’s resources and technology can make getting a root canal essentially pain free.
What Happens During Endodontic Therapy?
The root canal procedure itself will remove the infected nerve tissues from inside your tooth. If left in place, the tooth will resorb and abscess, ultimately requiring an extraction.
After the chamber is cleaned and decontaminated, a filling material will be placed down into the hollow canals to prevent the risk of reinfection.
The remaining tooth structure will now be disease-free, but more brittle as it is no longer vital. Your dentist will place a protective ceramic crown over the tooth, allowing it to function normally without wearing down due to everyday use.
Caring for Your Tooth After Treatment
Now that your tooth is restored both inside and out, you’ll want to continue caring for it as if nothing had happened. Daily brushing and flossing are essential, to prevent any gum disease or decay from affecting the outer surfaces along the gumlines.
Who to See for Your Treatment
Root canal therapy requires added dexterity, resources, and experience on the part of your dentist. Kois Center trained dentists have added skills in performing gentle endodontic services to their patients. Find one near you!