Preparing for a Root Canal

posted by Dr. Eric Kimball, DDS on 6/18/2018 in General

For some people, 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 the tooth infection is 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, 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 Happens During a Root Canal?

The actual dental procedure involves creating an opening in the top of the tooth and removing inflamed or infected pulp from the root canal before filling it with a biocompatible material. A dental 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.

Schedule Your Root Canal With a Friendly Kimball & Beecher Dentist

If you need a root canal treatment or simply want to learn how to prevent it, talk to a friendly Kimball & Beecher dentist. Our experts can share preventative tips so you can avoid dental infections requiring root canals. Our dentists can also walk you through the root canal treatment, so you feel less nervous about the procedure.  

Schedule an appointment with a Kimball & Beecher dentist today.

About The Author

Dr. Eric Kimball, DDS

Dr. Eric Kimball practices in our Waterloo office. Dr. Kimball was raised in Independence Iowa and graduated high school there in 1991. After high school we went onto Wartburg College where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology in 1995. He married his high school sweetheart and now t ... read more

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