These two words will bring even the strongest person to their knees: root canal. There are a lot of negative connotations associated with this dental procedure. The reality is that root canals are provided as a service to help patients relieve dental pain, not cause it.
If your dentist just recommended that you may need root canal therapy in Lewisville, you may have a few questions. You’ll learn the most valuable information about root canal therapy in this week’s blog post, so stay tuned!
Common Questions About Root Canal Therapy
Why do I need root canal therapy?
The only reason that your dentist would recommend root canal therapy is because you have a severely damaged or infected tooth. The purpose of a root canal is to save your tooth as well as the rest of your smile.
How does a tooth become so infected that I need a root canal to save it?
Your tooth is made of layers. The outer layers of enamel and dentin protect the pulp of the tooth that contains blood vessels and nerve endings.
In the case that there’s severe decay or trauma that’s affected a tooth, dental debris and bacteria can enter the inside layers. When this harmful debris reaches the pulp, it can cause an infection and be extremely painful, and you develop the risk of losing your tooth.
What are the signs that I need a root canal?
Besides excruciating dental pain, there are a few other signs that you should pay attention to. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s time to reach out to a dentist to discuss root canal therapy:
- Pain that occurs in your tooth as well as another part of your body, like your jaw, ear, neck, or surrounding teeth.
- Spontaneous pain that occurs from a stimulus, like a hot or cold drink.
- Positional pain that occurs when you lie down or suddenly stand up.
- An abscess, or a hole in the jaw bone.
- A fistula is a white, yellow, or red pimple-looking bump that appears on the gum line.
Can I have root canal therapy completed during a routine dental visit?
Unfortunately, your routine dental appointment is intended to examine the affected area, take dental x-rays, and plan your treatment, so you will need to schedule a follow-up appointment to complete the full root canal therapy.
If you’re nervous about root canal therapy, your Lewisville dentist may be able to help relieve your anxiety with additional sedation.
What can I expect before, during, and after my root canal appointment?
Before your dental treatment begins, your dentist will:
- Take dental x-rays to view the affected area.
- Numb the area and tooth for your comfort.
- Place a thin sheet of latex rubber over your tooth to keep the area dry and clean during the treatment.
During the treatment, your dentist will:
- Gently create an opening in the top of the tooth.
- Remove the infected pulp from the tooth and the crevices (canals) of your tooth.
- Clean the area and treat the inside with a germ-killing medicine.
- Fill the empty space with a rubber-like material known as gutta percha.
- Place a filling on the tooth to seal it from future infections.
After your treatment, you can expect:
- Sensitivity around the affected area for a few days.
- Doctor prescribed medicine to relieve any discomfort.
- Antibiotics to prevent infections.
With proper care, your restored tooth should last a lifetime. Be sure to ask your dentist if you have any additional questions about root canals. After all, they are there for you every step of the way!
About Our Office
Here at Capehart Dental, we’re sure to make every patient feel comfortable with our suggested treatments by being upfront and honest. If you’re a bit nervous, we will walk you through the procedure beforehand, making sure that you understand how our recommended treatments will save your smile in the long run! Feel free to contact our office if you have further questions.