Many patients thinking about root canal therapy are worried about a potentially painful dental procedure that takes a long time to recover from. Root canal procedures are commonly performed whenever there is a problem like infection or inflammation. This procedure helps to alleviate pain and prevent the development of an abscess. Although most patients have a smooth recovery period, like with any type of surgery, complications can develop that you should be aware of.
Are you concerned that you may need a root canal procedure? Many patients are anxious, even terrified, at the prospect of needing a root canal. However, their fears are usually alleviated when they learn what is actually involved with this common type of dental procedure. If you think that you may require a root canal, or you're just curious, read along to learn the facts behind the root canal procedure so that you will know what is involved if you need one, or to learn how you can hopefully avoid one.
Root canal treatment, medically known as endodontic treatment, is a modern dental procedure that involves the removal of inflamed or infected soft tissues from inside of a tooth.
The outer surface of your teeth consists of hard structures like enamel and dentin. Inside of the tooth is a soft tissue known as the dental pulp, which houses nerves and blood vessels that are needed for the development and growth of the tooth.
Unfortunately, this soft tissue can become inflamed or infected, reaching the nerve of the tooth. The goal of the root canal procedure is to remove this inflamed or infected pulp, replacing it with a filling material to guard against additional damage. The root canal saves the tooth.
Your dentist begins a root canal procedure by thoroughly examining your tooth so that it is evident what is involved and how to specifically treat it. This may involve a visual examination of the mouth, as well as x-rays visualizing the pulp chamber.
You will be provided with a local anesthetic to ensure your comfort, and a dental dam is then placed over the treatment site for isolating the tooth while your dentist is working.
Your dentist then drills into the tooth to allow for dental instruments to reach into the pulp and clean out infected or inflamed tissues. Your dentist then cleans this area and contours it to make room for a filling to replace the dental pulp.
After the root canal is filled, your dentist will normally place a temporary filling to seal it. In time, a dental crown will likely be placed onto this tooth, protecting it over the long haul. But the crown will take some time to construct, so the temporary filling is used during this waiting period.
Following your root canal procedure, you should avoid biting or chewing directly onto the tooth until a temporary restoration is completed. Take any prescribed medication as directed. You may need to return for a follow-up exam so that we can check on your progress and determine if you are healing properly.
Please contact Aesthetic Dentistry of Rockland County if you should have any remaining questions about root canal therapy, or for any other reason, including scheduling a routine checkup.
We take our patients’ privacy seriously. Please refrain from providing any personal health or sensitive information. Call us at(845) 735-7500to schedule your appointment over the phone.
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