Root canals may seem scary, but they are a very common dental practice. In fact, according to the American Association of Endodontists, over 15 million root canals are performed every year in the United States. So what exactly is a root canal and what happens during one? Check out this handy guide from Pearly Whites Dental Care to demystify root canals and help you feel more confident about the procedure.
A root canal is a dental procedure that is used to treat an infected or damaged tooth. The goal of the procedure is to remove the damaged or infected tissue from inside the tooth and then seal it off to prevent further damage. You may need a root canal if you have a tooth that is:
Your dentist will usually recommend a root canal if they feel that it is the best way to save your tooth. In some cases, they may also suggest extracting the tooth instead, although an extraction is always a last resort. Most root canals are successful in saving the damaged tooth, allowing you to keep your natural smile intact.
The root canal process usually takes place over the course of two dental visits. During the first visit, your dentist will numb the area around the tooth. You should not be able to feel anything during your procedure. If you’re not completely numb, your dentist can use more anesthetic to take away the remaining feeling.
Your dentist will then make an opening in the tooth so that they can access the damaged or infected tissue. Next, they will use special instruments to remove the damaged tissue and clean out the inside of the tooth. Once the tooth is clean, they will seal it off with a permanent filling or crown.
During the second visit, your dentist will check to make sure that the root canal was successful and that there is no remaining damage. They will then place a crown on the tooth to protect it from further damage. Depending on your individual condition, your dentist may add the crown during your first visit.
Once your root canal is complete, you may feel some mild discomfort for a few days. You can take over-the-counter painkillers to help manage any pain or tenderness. It’s also important to avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the procedure was done, as this could damage the tooth.
You should be able to eat and drink normally after a root canal, although you may want to stick to softer foods for a few days. Be sure to brush and floss your teeth regularly and see your dentist for regular checkups so that they can monitor the health of your teeth.
Pearly Whites Dental Care is proud to provide safe, gentle root canals in Morrisville. Our team of has years of experience helping patients get their smile back. If you think you may need a root canal, contact us today to schedule an appointment. We will develop a personalized treatment plan to help you achieve your dental goals.