Uncovering the Secrets of Root Canal Treatment

27 March 2024
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

The mere mention of a root canal can send shivers down anyone's spine, as the procedure is often misunderstood. The truth is root canal treatment is a standard dental procedure designed to save and restore teeth that are severely infected or decayed. Here are five key insights into what you can expect from this restorative dental therapy, with the hope of demystifying the experience for those in the dental chair.

The What and Why of Root Canals

Root canal treatment is a necessary intervention for teeth with roots that have been compromised by infection or decay. During the process, the dentist carefully removes the pulp, the soft tissue inside the tooth and any damaged nerve. The motive behind a root canal is to alleviate the excruciating pain that often comes with an infected tooth and to restore it to full function.

The Procedure Explained

Before the actual root canal begins, your dentist will likely take X-rays of the affected tooth. Once in the dental chair, you'll receive local anaesthesia to numb your tooth and the surrounding area. Then a small protective sheet called a dental dam will be placed over the tooth to keep it clean and dry during the process. The dentist will then drill an access hole into the tooth, remove the pulp, clean the inside of the tooth and seal it with a filling to prevent further infection.

Managing Expectations Post-Procedure

After the treatment, it’s natural to experience some sensitivity and discomfort, typically manageable with over-the-counter pain medication. A follow-up appointment is usually scheduled to check the healing of the tooth, with a potential recommendation of a crown to fully restore its function and appearance.

Recovery and Aftercare

One key aspect is to avoid biting or chewing with the treated tooth until it's been fully restored. It's vital to practice good oral hygiene, brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily. Stick to your regular dental checkups and cleanings to keep an eye on the treated tooth and to maintain its health. Speak to your dentist if you experience any persistent pain or signs of infection, such as swelling or fever.

The Long-term Benefits

In most cases, a root canal is a relatively simple procedure that can be completed in one or two appointments. By preserving your natural tooth, you maintain proper chewing abilities and protect other teeth from excessive wear. In cases where infection persists, a repeat root canal, known as a retreatment, may be necessary to save the tooth.

For more information about root canal treatments, reach out to a local dental clinic.