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Everything You Need to Know About Root Canals: Common Myths Dispelled


Root canal

Root canals have the purpose of getting rid of bacteria from a canal that has become infected and saves the natural tooth. They also prevent future re-infection. Patients who get a root canal have their infected or inflamed pulp removed. The dentist cleans and disinfects the inside of the tooth carefully, then fills and seals it. If you have a decaying tooth, a severely damaged one, or a serious infection, your dentist may encourage this type of treatment. It can repair and save your natural tooth so that it doesn’t have to be removed.

What Does Root Canal Repair Involve?

People need this procedure performed when the pulp of a tooth gets infected. The pulp is actually considered soft tissue that contains blood vessels and nerves and provides nourishment. Causes of pulp infection include:

  • Tooth injury, even without a visible chip or crack
  • Multiple dental procedures disturbing the pulp
  • A deep cavity
  • A fractured or cracked tooth

Getting Treatment

You need to book an appointment with a specialist on pulp and surrounding tissue. These professionals are called endodontists. Typically, a root canal treatment takes one or two visits to perform. One of the biggest misconceptions is that root canals are painful, even excruciating. You won’t feel pain at all because local anesthesia is used. In fact, you may feel absolutely nothing; not during the procedure or after it.

Steps Dentists Take

Your dentist will take an X-ray to see your tooth and adjacent bone and numb your tooth and the area around it. This is to ensure your comfort. They will place a sheet of latex over your tooth to keep it clean and dry. This also protects it from fungus, bacteria, and viruses in the mouth.

Then, the actual procedure begins. The dentist makes an opening in your tooth and removes the nerve in the root areas and inside the tooth. They treat the tooth and the canals with germ-killing medicine. They fill the openings to protect the tooth and canals from future infections. To this end, they use a rubber-like material.

Finally, the dentist puts a temporary filling to protect the tooth. At the earliest opportunity, they replace it with a crown or permanent filling.

Post-treatment: Things to Know

You might feel sensitivity in the tooth and surrounding area for a few days after the procedure. If you feel it’s not normal, talk with your dentist. They will recommend some discomfort relief. On the off chance you get an infection, your dentist could prescribe antibiotics.

The dentist will replace the temporary filling during your follow-up visit. They might place a plastic or metal post in the root canal to ensure the filling stays. If you need a crown, this will help support it.

Risks of Delaying Treatment

Don’t put off the root canal too long. The tissues around the tooth are probably infected, and these infections spread rapidly. You feel swelling and pain when this happens. An abscess may form in the bone around the root or in the side of the tooth. Bacteria are quick to wreak havoc on the bones that support the connection between your jaw and teeth. Such infection may cause natural tooth loss.

Your root canal filling can last for the rest of your life and beyond with the right care. This involves: flossing daily, brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for at least two minutes, and seeing your dentist on a regular basis. They will make sure your teeth are and stay healthy and strong.

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