A common dental procedure is root canal treatment. While it may seem intimidating at first, the team at Lovett Dental Upper Kirby can set your mind at ease.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal treatment is done to save your tooth. It can be a lengthy treatment process of one long appointment or two shorter appointments. The tooth is usually infected or full of decay. A decayed tooth’s pulp and the nerve can become irritated, swollen, and infected.
A decayed tooth becomes sore or painful when the tooth is infected or has repeat infections, is badly decayed, or it has had repetitive dental work on it, huge fillings that fill most of the tooth, or it has been chipped or cracked. An injury to the mouth can cause trauma to the tooth.
Sometimes, people have to have root canal treatment because they fear going to the dentist. Roughly 75% of the population is afraid of going to the dentist. This phobia is called Dentophobia. People are fearful of the dentist for the following reasons:
- Lack of control they have lying back in the chair with sharp instruments being put in their mouth.
- The sound of the drill cleaning the decay out of the tooth.
- The pain of the injections used for the numbing medication.
- The fear of the inability to move or talk while in the chair.
There are a lot of reasons people fear going to the dentist. You could have the best, most gentle dentist in the world who rubs the numbing medication on your gum with their finger and still be fearful. Fear is why so many people end up needing root canals if they want to save their teeth,
Root Canal Procedure
A regular dentist can do root canals. If they feel it is beyond their capability, they will send you to a specialist.
An endodontist specializes in the diseases and injuries of the nerves and pulp in the teeth and performs challenging root canals.
During a root canal procedure, both the pulp and nerve of the damaged tooth are removed. The endodontist then cleans, disinfects the tooth, and seals it with a rubber-like substance to prevent infection or additional damage in the future.
Before the dentist starts the root canal, you will be given local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth. The tooth’s nerve is dead, so you will not feel any pain. The dentist will still give you the local anesthesia even though you may not even need it. It is given more as a comfort measure than anything else, and it will help you relax.
The tooth area must stay dry and saliva free, so a piece of rubber that creates a dam is wrapped around the tooth.
Depending on how bad the tooth was, you may have to wait a week for the tooth to be sealed. The dentist will put medicine inside the whole of the tooth to get rid of any infection and to prevent an infection. If the tooth is not sealed, a temporary filling will be put in to protect the tooth from debris, food, and salvia until your next appointment. You will return to the dentist in seven to ten days for the tooth to be sealed.
Root Canal Treatment at Lovett Dental Upper Kirby
After you have a root canal, your mouth will be numb (just like when you get a filling) for a couple of hours. Most people can go back to work or school after the procedure. It would be best if you waited to eat until your mouth is no longer numb.
The first few days after the root canal, your tooth might be sore because the tissue is swollen, mainly if the tooth was infected and you were in pain before the root canal. Over the counter medication will generally take care of the pain.