What is a Root Canal? Understanding this Common Procedure
59% of people would rather give a public speech than have a root canal. Fear is a familiar emotion associated with root canals, but are they something to be feared?
The phrase, ‘root canal’ might make a dental patient shudder, but that doesn’t mean this procedure is anything from which to hide.
If you’re dentist scheduled you a root canal, or if you’re curious about what will happen when you have one, keep reading to learn more.
What Is A Root Canal?
To properly understand a root canal, you must be familiar with the anatomy of a tooth. Don’t worry, it’s not that complicated!
Your teeth have roots that extend into your gums. These ‘roots’ are composed of tissues, nerves, and pulp that sometimes become infected. A root canal is a procedure that’s designed to remove the infection and the cavity in the pulp of your tooth.
However, root canals do not pose any damage to the tooth. The dentist will clean the area and seal it with a crown. Once the procedure is complete, your tooth should function normally.
Root canals are very common, with millions of people having them each year.
When You Might Need A Root Canal
Some several signs and symptoms might indicate that you need a root canal:
- Pain in tooth
- Swelling or inflammation
- Darkening of the tooth which points to decay
- Trauma to the tooth that’s caused cracked or chipping
- Tooth abscesses or leaking fluid
If you have any of these symptoms, see your dentist as soon as possible. If left untreated, root canals can become serious, because the bacteria may spread to the rest of your body. Root canals remove the infection to prevent further or more severe health issues.
What to Expect
Despite their terrifying reputation, root canals are good for you! They’re needed to make sure the infection doesn’t worsen and to protect the health of the tooth.
It’s normal to feel a little worried or concerned about going in for a root canal. So here are a few ideas about what to expect when you head in for your appointment.
1. Root canal appoints may take up to 90 minutes, so plan accordingly if you need it.
2. In the past, root canals were painful because of the lack of anesthetic. Nowadays, you might feel some slight discomfort while the anesthetic is injected, but it works wonders to keep you as comfortable as possible.
3. The dentist drills a hole in your tooth so they can remove the infection. The drill might be a little noisy.
4. After clearing the infection and applying the medication, the dentist x-rays the tooth the ensure the infection is removed.
5. You may need to return for a crown to be placed to keep the tooth strong and healthy. Be sure to return for any follow-up appointments.
Do You Need A Root Canal?
Root canals might sound scary, but with technological advancements, they save you from more detrimental health problems and preserve your tooth!
Do you have more questions about root canals? Our friendly, knowledgeable staff can answer your concerns. Contact us today!
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