Tooth extraction is a standard procedure where the dentist removes the entire tooth, including the root. An extraction may be simple, where the whole tooth is visible, or surgical, where the tooth is below the gumline. Dentists use forceps to remove teeth from the gum and bone tissue.Surgical extractions have longer patient recovery times compared…
What to Expect at Your Root Canal Appointment
If you think you may need a root canal, it is helpful to know as much as possible about this endodontic treatment. This procedure is common for patients who have severe decay that a regular filling cannot sufficiently repair. Also, if your dentist detects an infection in the pulp of your tooth, you will need this treatment. Fortunately, this intervention is effective and should be successful in relieving pain and irritation. Your dentist will make sure you feel as comfortable and at ease as possible.
Making the diagnosis
Often the patient will have a good idea that there is something wrong with a tooth. There are certain signs that point to infection and extreme decay. Both of these will usually require endodontic treatment to repair the issue. During an appointment, the dentist can confirm the need for a root canal through an examination and X-rays. Also, people who experience some of the following symptoms should inform the dentist immediately:
- Sensitivity to hot or cold
- Prolonged severe toothache
- Cracked or broken teeth
- Swollen, tender gums
There is an old notion that a root canal is a painful, unpleasant procedure. This breeds a lot of fear and anxiety for patients who need this treatment. However, dentists take great care to make sure this process has as little pain as possible. The root canal professional will use a local anesthetic to numb the affected area.
The procedure will feel much like a routine cavity filling. There may be some soreness after the treatment. Some people may continue to feel this for several days afterward. In that case, they should inform the dental office staff.
Once the patient’s mouth is numb, the dentist will drill into the infected tooth until reaching the pulp. This chamber is below the first two layers — the enamel and dentin. Inside are blood vessels, nerves and tissue. The dentist will remove the chamber and will clean out the rest of the tooth. There will also be medicine injected into the tooth to kill remaining bacteria. The dentist will then seal the tooth and may place a crown over it to keep it strong and intact.
Recovery and follow-up after the root canal
The entire process usually takes around 90 minutes. Within a few hours after the treatment, the numbness should wear off, and the patient can resume normal activities. The dentist will follow up in the next couple of days to make sure the patient feels well and is biting and chewing normally. At the patient’s next regular checkup, the root canal professional will check the integrity of the crown and make sure the tooth is feeling good.
Leave troubles at the door
It is natural to feel some nervousness about any type of dental work. Despite your preconceived notions, endodontic treatment does not have to frighten you, however. Your dentist has the necessary training to perform a root canal effectively and remove the infection that is plaguing your tooth. Never put off seeing your dentist when you feel pain in your tooth. After this intervention, you should have a stronger, healthier tooth.
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