So You’re getting a Root Canal

Your dentist has just spoken that terrible phrase that you never want to hear: “You need a root canal.” And if this is the very first time that you are getting a root canal, you will most likely have a ton of questions running through your mind.

Vita Dental Spring is here to help you prepare for your root canal procedure by explaining the root canal basics as well as by arming you with pain management techniques you can use to put your mind at ease.

Understanding the Mystery That Is a Root Canal

Simply put, a root canal is necessary when the tooth pulp develops an infection. This can be caused by a large cavity or damage or trauma to the tooth. During the procedure, the dentist removes the infected pulp and replaces it with filling material.

It’s important to realize that the discomfort you are feeling is caused by the infection in the tooth and not the root canal treatment itself. The purpose of the surgery is to ease and eventually eliminate any pain that may be as a result of this problem.

The main reason why most people prefer getting a root canal to restore damaged tooth is that it’s simpler to keep your old tooth and have the root structure intact.

A Root Canal Treatment Could Take Time

The procedure technically takes a few hours to complete, during which time you will need to remain seated in the dentist’s chair with your mouth open. Ask your dentist if he/she can allow you to listen to music while you are undergoing the procedure. Listening to music will distract you and help the time pass more quickly.

Here is an outline of what to expect at Vita Dental Spring:

To guarantee your comfort, your family dentist will need to use local anesthesia, to numb the tooth and the surrounding area entirely before the procedure. However, if you’re still nervous, other options like nitrous oxide (laughing gas) can be administered to help calm you down.

Your dentist might also use a rubber dam to prevent contamination once the tooth is open. X-rays may also be taken to help guide your family dentist while operating on the damaged tooth. Using a drill, as well as other dental tools, he/she will remove pulp your tooth pulp and fill in the interior portion of the tooth with the appropriate temporary fillings. 

If you also need a crown, the dentist will take an impression of your tooth after the removal of the decay, to form a cap that will match your natural tooth.

After The Surgery

Once your root canal is complete, it is normal to assume that you can immediately resume your normal tooth activity, e.g., chewing and biting. But this may not be the case because biting on the treated tooth might cause new cracks to develop. Stick to foods and drinks that won’t aggravate the area of the procedure and try eating on the opposite side of the treated tooth.

Now that the infected pulp is out of the way, you are still likely to feel some pain and discomfort. You can also expect your gums and lips to be numb for a few hours or days after the procedure. Your dentist may prescribe some pain medications (such as Advil or Tylenol) for any discomfort that may arise when you arrive at home.

A follow-up visit to the family dentist at Vita Dental Spring is necessary a few days after your procedure because the temporary filling in your tooth will need replacing. Normally, it will be replaced with a crown or permanent filling. The filler will also ensure that the canal of your tooth remains free from bacteria and infection.

Get a Root Canal as Soon as Possible

During your appointments at Vita Dental Spring, your dentist may point out that you need to have a root canal. It is imperative that you get it done as soon as you can as delaying the treatment could worsen the symptoms and cause further complications. Getting timely and appropriate treatment will help you get back to chewing as usual and living without mouth pain.

You may be tempted to postpone or hold off having the procedure done because you don’t have dental insurance or because your finances are low. But when you get your root canal done at Vita Dental Spring, you won’t have to worry because we are more than ready to sit down with you and discuss our pocket-friendly financing options.

Root canals might seem scary at first, but once you overcome your fear, and the dentist proceeds with the treatment, it will all be worth it because your mouth will feel a lot better.  It is possible to avoid having a root canal treatment if you stick to the following:

Floss and Brush your teeth on a daily basis using fluoride toothpaste

Avoid anything that can easily crack your teeth and cause bacteria to enter your root system.  These include hard candies, ice and using your teeth for anything other than chewing food.

Wearing a mouth guard at night or when playing sports

Avoid or minimize your consumption if acidic foods and drinks as they can break down the enamel thus exposing teeth to bacteria

Have regular dental checkups and cleanings.