Cavities, Bad Breath and Other Embarrassing Topics

What to Expect When You Need a Root Canal

For many people, two of the most terrifying words in the history of mankind are "root canal". A root canal is a procedure that often needs to be done when there is no other way to repair a severely damaged tooth that is decayed right into the root or nerve. Many people dislike going to the dentist, but when they hear that they need to have this type of procedure done, the sense of dread really intensifies. If your dentist has told you that you need a root canal, don't let yourself get too stressed out about it. In fact, you should learn more about it. The more you know, the less likely you are to be afraid.

The Procedure

The first thing the dentist will do is numb the area that is going to be worked on. This will be done with a local anesthesia, and you will be conscious for the procedure. Next, they may attach a dental dam, which will keep saliva away from the tooth being worked on. Once the area is numb and the dam is in place, the dentist will start to repair the tooth.

An opening will be drilled into the tooth, and the dentist will use this hole to get inside the tooth and clean out the decay. Then, the dentist will clean the tooth's root to make sure that there is no more bacteria inside, and remove the nerve. At this point, the dentist will either finish the root canal, put in a temporary filling to allow this part of the procedure to heal before going on to the next step. The final step is when the dentist fills the canals with a filling material, and then covers this with a traditional dental filling.

You May Need a Crown

Once a root canal has been done, the original integrity of the tooth is compromised and it is much weaker. The tooth may end up brittle, and will break easily. Your dentist such as Denison Dental Surgeries may suggest having a crown or a cap installed over the root canal. This will completely restore the tooth to its original appearance. A crown can be costly, but it will save you from needing additional dental work in the future.

Future Dental Work

In most cases, root canals are successful, and you won't require any further work. But, there is the chance that you could end up with an infection again. You will either need to have a new root canal, or it may be best to have the tooth removed and have a bridge made to replace the tooth with a false one.