Although different people may have told you how painful and uncomfortable it is to get a root canal, the sole purpose of this dental procedure is to save an infected tooth.
During a root canal procedure, the dental professional is getting rid of bad bacteria as well as all the unhealthy tissue. Over the past several years, different advances have been made, making it a bit easier for dentists to perform this type of procedure without causing nearly as much pain to their patients.
Why Would a Dentist Recommend a Root Canal?
During an examination of the teeth, the dentist may notice a tooth is infected. The infection may be caused by some sort of injury to the tooth or even a bad cavity that went untreated for some time. If a person doesn’t know they have a cavity, it will eventually get worse, and that is when the root canal must be performed to save that tooth while preventing it from falling out or causing even more pain for the patient.
If it weren’t for this type of procedure, those with severely infected teeth would need to have each infected tooth pulled out by a dental professional. So, although the procedure may cause some discomfort for the patients, it’s a lot better than getting teeth pulled.
What Happens During the Procedure?
There are a few different steps that are typically followed by any dental professional. In some instances, the patient needs to make a second trip to the dental office to complete the procedure and ultimately restore the tooth.
However, it all depends on the protocol followed by the specific dentist a patient chooses to go to for this procedure.
The process begins with the dentist administering anesthesia as a way of numbing a certain section of the mouth. Even if you’re afraid of needles, it’s important to get the anesthesia so that you won’t have to feel any of the pain or discomfort while the dentist is working on the tooth. The dentist waits for several minutes to ensure the anesthesia has kicked in before inserting the dental dam inside the mouth.
The purpose of the dental dam is to keep your tongue protected and away from the tooth that is getting worked on with various dental tools.
The next step involves working on the actual tooth. There are several different tools that may be used, including dental drills that allow the dentist to access a specific section of the tooth to get rid of that bad bacteria. While getting rid of the bacteria, the dentist also removes the damaged pulp and then checks the tooth to make sure it’s completely cleared out.
A filling is often used to cover the hole that was initially made when the dentist drilled into the tooth to access the pulp and bacteria, but you’ll likely need to come back to the office to get a crown put onto the tooth a few weeks later.
Keeping Your Teeth Healthy
Once you’ve undergone this procedure, make sure you’re taking the best possible care of your teeth to avoid problems in the future. Brushing is important, but you’re going to need to do a bit more than that to keep your teeth clean and healthy.
Make sure you’re using floss, rinsing with a mouthwash that helps remove that bad bacteria, and even scheduling appointments for routine cleanings with the dentist. If you put off going to the dentist for extended periods, you might not realize you have a cavity, and then it could be a whole lot worse by the time you finally get around to seeking any type of treatment in the dental office.
If you’d like to avoid undergoing this procedure again, simply make sure you’re scheduling those routine appointments for cleaning and examinations at least once every six months if not more often than that. And, if you ever end up needing another root canal because a tooth is infected, make sure you go to a compassionate dentist who will make sure you feel completely comfortable throughout the procedure.
Even though you’ve likely heard some horror stories, the procedure isn’t as bad as many people make it out to be, especially when it’s something that is saving your tooth.