If you've never had one before, the idea of getting a root canal treatment can be terrifying. They are associated with pain and severe discomfort. However, root canal treatments are a common dental procedure, and they are nothing to fear. Check out these facts about root canal therapy to help you feel a bit more comfortable.
It Shouldn't Hurt
Most people hear the term root canal, and they instantly think pain, but that isn't the case, or at least, it shouldn't be the case. You have root canal therapy when you have a tooth infection. This infection can become excruciatingly painful because of the pressure on your nerve. That's the pain associated with a root canal treatment. During the actual treatment, you shouldn't feel anything because you are numb. If you do feel something, tell the dentist you need more Novocain. You will, however, be able to feel when the dentist cleans the inside of your tooth root with files. It isn't painful, but it is an awkward sensation.
You'll Have a Rubber Dam in Your Mouth
The root canal treatment shouldn't hurt, but that doesn't make it a walk in the park. Generally, the dentist places a rubber dam in your mouth. The dam is a square sheet of plastic that protects your mouth and the tooth during the treatment. It can make some people uncomfortable because it hinders your ability to swallow and breathe through your mouth slightly.
You May Be Sore After the Procedure
Most of your pain should be gone after the procedure, but you may be a little sore. The dentist has to get all the way to the bottom of your tooth to clean the infection. This pain, however, can be easily controlled with antibiotics and pain medication.
Some Root Canals Take Multiple Visits
Some root canals take only one visit, but some dentists prefer to break them up into two visits. Two visits are often used if the infection is particularly bad. During the first visit, the dentist cleans the area and fills it with an antibacterial treatment, which helps clean up the infection to prevent reinfection. During the second visit the area is errantly sealed.
Your Dentist May Send You to a Specialist
In the past, it was common for your general dentist to perform the root canal therapy, but more and more dentists send patients to endodontists for root canal treatment. It doesn't mean your case is particularly bad. It's just that endodontists specialize in treating the inside of the tooth, making them more skilled to perform the root canal treatment successfully.
You'll Need a Crown
After the root canal, your teeth is weakened. To prevent it from breaking under the pressure of chewing, you'll need to have a crown placed. You'll need to return to your general dentist to have the crown placed soon after the root canal treatment.
Even if your infection doesn't cause any pain, you still need to treat it so soon as possible, and your only other option is extraction. Root canal therapy saves teeth, and it isn't as scary as people imply. If you have an infected tooth, contact your dentist (or go to websites like this one).