Preparing for a Root Canal
by Dr. Eric Kimball, DDS on 6/18/2018
Nervous? You don’t need to be.
For some, there are no two words more terrifying to hear from their dentist than “root canal.”
If you can’t help but break out into a cold sweat at the mere mention of those words, we have good news: root canals are not scary, and are fairly painless if caught and treated early.
Why do I need a root canal?
First, let’s start by breaking down the basics of the tooth. There are three layers to every tooth: the outer shell (enamel), the middle layers (dentin), and the interior (roots/nerves).
A root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment, is necessary when there is damage or infection in the nerve of the tooth. It can start as a cavity in the enamel, but if left untreated, it can pass through the dentin and eventually reach the roots or nerves.
This can lead to severe tooth pain and initiate bone degeneration or even tooth loss.
Root canals are most common with older people, but there have also been cases of children requiring such a procedure, even with baby teeth.
What can I expect during the procedure?
The actual dental procedure involves creating an opening in the crown of the tooth and removing inflamed or infected pulp from the root canal before filling it with a biocompatible material. A crown will then need to be applied to protect and restore the tooth to full function.
All of this is performed after a local anesthetic has been administered to numb the tooth, to help ensure the patient is comfortable during the entire procedure.
Patients might experience some tooth sensitivity in the first few days after initial treatment, but if the discomfort persists beyond that, a call to the dental office would be in order.
Root canals can often be avoided by maintaining consistent six-month preventive visits, but should your dentist broach the topic of a root canal treatment, don’t lose any sleep over it. The procedure is intended to relieve your pain, not create it.
For more information about our root canal treatment or to schedule an appointment, call your local Kimball & Beecher office. You can relax knowing you’re in good hands!