There is a belief that a root canal is something to dread and fear. While you would not hope to need this procedure, the process is not nearly as intense as most people have described. Thanks to dental techniques, as well as the knowledge and experience of your dentist, you can go into this appointment feeling positive. Understanding how this all works can help you feel at ease and be prepared.
Factors that lead to a root canal
Along with cavity fillings, this procedure is one of the most common that a general dentist performs. A patient with good oral hygiene likely will not need to undergo this process. Normally, when a person requires one, it is because they have not brushed and flossed consistently or correctly. Severe decay and infections are major causes in the decision to have this treatment. Also, damaged teeth from fractures or cracks may require a root canal from the general dentist.
Making the patient feel calmer
Root canals are often depicted in the media or other circles as causing excruciating pain and discomfort. The process involved some invasive work, including drilling. The dentist will use various tools to remove the infection and repair the tooth. However, the dentist will also use various methods to help a person feel more comfortable.
Before starting a root canal, the dentist will explain how it works and what the results will look like. The patient can ask questions and raise any concerns at this time. The dentist will answer and address these openly. The dentist will also use a local anesthetic at the site to numb the patient. This should prevent the person from feeling any pain, though some people do feel minor pressure.
How it works
Root canals usually take about an hour, so the patient will only need to come in for one appointment. After numbing the patient, the dentist will drill into the tooth to access the pulp. Removing the pulp (the part of the tooth that contains blood vessels and nerves) is essential. This is where the infection usually lies.
The dentist will then clean out the canal and other areas of the tooth. A disinfectant or other medication may also be used to kill any remaining bacteria. The dentist will seal the tooth. Then, a crown will be used to cap the tooth.
Recovering from a root canal is not normally extensive. The patient will feel numb for a few hours after the procedure. There may be some swelling or soreness for the next day or two. The dentist may advise the patient to avoid normal eating habits for the next 24 to 48 hours.
Be ready for your appointment
People may have horror stories about the root canal process. You do not have to believe this, though. Root canals should not cause you any problems during or after the procedure. Your dentist will make sure you are comfortable as it begins. It is also an effective way of relieving your pain and correcting serious infections in your teeth.
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