What Can You Expect When Getting a Root Canal?
Getting a root canal is thought to be a painful affair. While this may have been true in the past, modern procedures are painless thanks to anaesthesia and one experiences only slight and short-lived discomfort following the treatment. To dispel any lingering worries, here’s what to expect from a root canal.
What’s a Root Canal and When Is It Required?
A root canal is a procedure that removes infected or damaged tissue known as pulp from the tooth’s root canal system. This system is a hollow area at the centre of the tooth that houses nerves and blood vessels and that stretches down to the roots.
Pulp can become infected when bacteria enters the root canal system via cavities or cracks. This results in an abscessed tooth, which causes pain and swelling and can result in serious oral health problems including tooth loss.
Root canal treatment eliminates the pain associated with abscesses and prevents more serious issues.
Your dentist can spot infected or damaged pulp with a dental X-ray or by noticing certain changes in the appearance of your teeth or gums, such as a darker tooth or pus on the gums.
What does the procedure involve?
Here are the steps for a root canal procedure:
- The dentist gives you a local anesthetic.
- The dentist makes a hole in the tooth to access the root canal system.
- The dentist removes damaged pulp and disinfects the root canal system.
- The dentist fills the canal using a rubber-like material called gutta percha and seals the tooth with a temporary filling.
- After a few weeks, the dentist will put a permanent crown on the tooth.
Avoid eating hard foods until you’re fitted with a permanent crown. Remember that you’ll need to practice excellent oral hygiene, even with a crown.