It’s one of the more common procedures offered in dental offices, yet it’s still one of the misunderstood. When some people think of root canals, the first thing that comes to mind and the thing that often gets overlooked is the procedure’s ability to save teeth. Look past the misconception and get a closer look at how this restorative procedure saves teeth, how it’s performed and why you shouldn’t dread having one done.
No Pain, Plenty to Gain
Without medication, a root canal could be a painful procedure. Yet, not all root canals require pain-relieving medicine. In cases in which the nerves inside the tooth have all died, you could get through the procedure without anesthesia. However, local anesthesia is the key to ensuring that you feel no discomfort during your root canal procedure.
Still feeling anxious about your procedure? Ask your dentist about sedation dentistry, which can help you feel calm and can give you a greater sense of well-being during your time in the dentist’s chair.
The Procedure: Getting to the Root of the Problem
The purpose of a root canal is to stop an infection that’s decaying a tooth and to ultimately prevent the tooth from falling out.
At the start of your root canal, your dentist or hygienist will prep the area by cleaning and drying the tooth. From there, a thin sheet of rubber known as a dental dam will be placed around the tooth to isolate it.
The dentist will use a thin drill bit to access the center of the tooth, known as the pulp, where the nerves and other soft tissue lie. They’ll drill through the cavity already created in the tooth by the infection.
With access to the pulp established, the dentist will clean out decaying material. From there, the dentist will pour in a filler to fill the hollow inside the tooth and to encase the remaining healthy tissue inside the tooth. The repaired tooth will then be sealed.
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