Know Everything About Root Canals
Posted on September 19, 2022 in Root Canal by dgp-dev
For years, root canals have been one of the most uncomfortable dental procedures available. Luckily, with advancements in technology and better dental practices – a great dentist can perform a root canal with minimal discomfort and virtually no pain!
That being said, root canals are extremely important and are usually one of the last measures to save a tooth from extraction. In this blog post, we give you an overview of the procedure and what you need to know before and after the procedure.
Should I Get a Root Canal or an Extraction?
When bacteria gets too deep into the tooth, a filling is no longer an option. That leaves patients with only two options: tooth extraction or a root canal.
There are a few reasons why you might need a root canal or an extraction. If you have a tooth that is severely decayed or damaged, a root canal may be necessary to save the tooth. Unfortunately, an extraction may be necessary if the tooth is too damaged for your dentist/endodontist to save. For example, if you have a tooth that is abscessed, an extraction may be necessary to remove the abscess.
However, if the bacteria has only caused an infection in your tooth, a root canal may still be a great option to remove the infected tissue without need for extraction.
Before a tooth gets to this stage, the first sign of trouble brewing is a cavity. A cavity causes tell-tale signs and symptoms including but not limited to:
Sensitivity in the tooth
Pain in the tooth
Discomfort and/or pain when chewing or biting
It is important to never ignore any pain or discomfort that you experience. The longer you wait to seek medical assistance, the worse the condition can get. At a certain stage of infection, extraction might be the only solution to protect your overall oral and general health.
Are You Put to Sleep During a Root Canal?
You will only need to get numbed during a root canal procedure and unless you suffer from severe dental anxiety, you won’t need to be put to sleep.
A root canal is a fairly non-invasive procedure done to save your tooth. A root procedure involves removing the damaged tissue from inside the tooth, cleaning and disinfecting it, and then filling and sealing it. Root canals are usually performed by dentists or endodontists (specialists who treat conditions of the teeth and their root canals).
Although it sounds like a time consuming procedure, a root canal takes approximately one hour. Depending on how the procedure is performed, you might need two visits to complete the entire procedure. During the first visit, the dentist will clean out the root canal and place a temporary filling. The second visit is used to check that the infection has gone and permanently seal the root canal. After your root canal, it is recommended that you get a crown to protect the integrity of your enamel and prevent it from breaking.
While there are several steps involved, a root canal should be no more uncomfortable than a filling.
If you’ve had the procedure done with no sedation, you will be able to drive home. For patients that were put under sedation, they will need someone to drive them home for their own safety.
How Can You Avoid a Root Canal?
Avoiding a root canal will require you to follow basic oral health guidelines. Although it’s simple and we probably all know it by now, it is normal for people to forget every now and then. Unfortunately it takes only a few days of forgetting to brush your teeth before you get a cavity.
Here are some of the basics:
Brush twice a day. It goes without saying. However, several people (children and adults) forget to brush their teeth especially at night.
Floss daily. Brushing your teeth is just cleaning 70% of your teeth. Flossing gets to those hard to reach areas and prevents root-damaging bacteria from forming.
Avoid hard candies. Hard candies and snacks crack your teeth giving bacteria an entry point.
Avoid acidic drinks and foods. Acidic drinks weaken your enamel and fill your teeth with sugar that bacteria can feed on.
Stick to your regular dental appointments. Going for regular cleanings and checkups means your dentist can clean plaque and tartar that you can’t get rid of in a dental cleaning. This is perhaps the most important way for you to prevent a root canal. It also gives your dentist the opportunity to find any cavities before they progress and an infection gets deeply rooted and cannot be saved with a filling.
What are the Long-term Benefits of a Root Canal?
Perhaps the most important benefit of a root canal procedure is that it stops the spread of infection. This not only saves your tooth from infection, but it also protects your overall health. Dental infections can spread far into the body and can cause other health problems including health disease.
A root canal will also:
Stop your pain
Improve your chewing
Improve the aesthetic appearance of your tooth
A root canal is definitely scarier than it sounds. When done right and by a high-trained and qualified dental team like our dentists at Akemi, it should be painless and effective.
Like with any other dental procedure, it is important for you to identify a qualified dentist/endodontist who will perform the procedure. If a root canal is not done properly, the infection will still remain and will cause even more damage.
Do you think you need a root canal? Get an evaluation from our dentist to see which is the best treatment plan for you and your specific needs.