For some dental patients, the words “root canal” can cause anxiety. At East Erie Dental, we find that for most patients, root canals are especially nerve-wracking simply because the patient doesn’t know what to expect. The more you know about your upcoming procedure, the better you will be able to know what is coming next and prepare accordingly.
What is a root canal?
A root canal is needed when a tooth has a lot of decay or has become infected. Sometimes, patients come to the office with complaints of serious pain in one particular area of the mouth while other times, a root canal is recommended after inspection during a regular dental check-up. In any case, root canals are relatively straightforward and can eliminate pain as well as increase tooth health.
During a root canal, the pulp in the center of the tooth is removed. This removal gives the chance to completely eliminate any tooth decay or infection.
What happens during a root canal?
During your root canal, you will visit the dental office as you would for a normal check-up. If your dentist doesn’t have an updated Xray of the tooth, you may have one taken. Otherwise, the dental team will begin the procedure by numbing the area of the mouth they will be working on. If you feel especially nervous, tell your dental team so that they can adapt their work accordingly.
After the mouth is numb, you will hear the sound of a tooth drill. The drill is being used to drill a hole in the problem tooth. The decayed tissue is removed from this hole. Your dental team will wash away the debris with water throughout your time in the chair. After the tooth is cleared, your dentist may seal it in the same appointment. Or, you may have to come back at a later time to have the tooth sealed.
Does it hurt?
The most common question about root canals regards to pain. For most patients, a root canal feels similar to having a cavity filled. After the procedure, your tooth may feel extra sensitive. Your dentist can offer advice for handling this pain, but an over the counter pain reliever typically does the trick.
If you are in dental pain, or if you want to assure your teeth are healthy, visit us at East Erie Dental. We would love to partner with you in your dental needs.