A root canal is a common dental procedure, but it might sound a little scary if you aren’t familiar with it. This post will tell you all about the process of getting a root canal and how you can help better your odds of not needing one.
What Are Root Canals?
Root canals are necessary if the dental nerve, known as the “pulp”, becomes infected or dies. Pain is possible, but not guaranteed. The reasons for pulp dying are varied. These include typical tooth-problem culprits, such as cavities or tooth decay. It can also happen during dental procedures. For instance, some composites by dentists may cause damage to the pulp, resulting in needing a root canal.
Why Get a Root Canal?
You value your teeth, right? Well, if the pulp dies, it spreads infection, which ultimately results in what is commonly known as a “dead tooth”. Even worse, a dead tooth can cause an abscess, an infection of the tooth. When your pulp dies, the problems spread very quickly.
What Happens in a Root Canal?
The purpose of a root canal is to remove the destroyed tissue from your tooth; to prevent infection from spreading. This is essentially a way of salvaging your tooth. It is a procedure which requires utmost attention and care, so make sure you have a dentist you trust or one recommended by a close friend or family member.
Before it begins, your dentist will give you anesthesia to help numb your tooth to lessen pain. Depending on the severity of the pain of your tooth, it might take some time for the anesthesia to take effect. The actual procedure won’t start until you are ready.
During the procedure, your dentist is required to use a tool known as a dental dam fixed on your mouth, which prevents saliva from reaching your tooth. This is because your infected tooth cannot risk saliva contacting it and potentially causing further infection. Additionally, your dentist must use tools that are completely sterilized; you cannot risk further infection when it comes to getting a root canal.
Your dentist will drill a hole to access the root canal of your tooth. For proper entry, they are likely to use some sort of device, such as a microscope to make sure they are entering with 100% certainty.
They will then proceed to recondition the root canal. They will work with their instruments to clean out the infected pulp and anything else that might cause or be causing problems. Once this is completed, your dentist will give you a filling to seal and preserve your tooth. Afterward, you are likely to be given a prescription for an antibiotic. This is to prevent further infection.
The structure of your tooth might be affected by the root canal. That’s nothing to be alarmed about, but if that is the case, you should consider having a crown or filling put on your tooth. This ensures your restored tooth won’t run into further problems down the road, such as fracturing. Additionally, keep up proper brushing and flossing to keep your tooth (and all the others) in top shape.
How Do I Prevent Root Canals?
To prevent needing a root canal treatment, the best thing you can do is treat your teeth as good as you possibly can. Practice classic good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing regularly) and make regular visits to your dentist. If they notice a problem like a cavity, they can fix it before it leads to something like a root canal.
We hope that this has given you a good overview of what a root canal entails. It might sound scary, but with a good dentist and some anesthesia, it’s nothing to worry about.