Root canal procedures can seem intimidating. However, when a dentist performs a root canal today, patients feel no more discomfort than during a routine cavity filling. New developments in modern dentistry have made the procedure completely pain-free. For patients who simply feel nervous about the idea of visiting a dentist, sedation dentistry offers effective relief from anxiety. Keep reading to learn the facts about root canals, including that they treat serious infections, are simple procedures, and require important aftercare.
A dentist performs a root canal in cases where the inner tooth pulp has become seriously infected. When the tooth pulp is severely decayed, a dentist must remove the tooth nerve and pulp in order to save the tooth. During root canals, dentists also clean and seal the inside of the tooth. Without a root canal, the infection would continue to spread, leading to serious tooth pain. You may also develop a tooth abscess, which is a dangerously infected pocket surrounding the tooth and gum.
Today, root canals are simple procedures that involve just one or two trips to the dentist. If you have severe tooth pain, you may require emergency dental care for the affected tooth. In general, a root canal is no more painful than a typical tooth filling. Your dentist will numb the area to be treated before fully cleaning the tooth. If your tooth structure has been compromised due to infection, your dentist may also place dental fillings or dental crowns to restore your tooth to full functionality.
After root canals, it is important to follow your dentist’s instructions for the best possible results. Your dentist will generally recommend taking over-the-counter painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications to ease any discomfort. You may also need to avoid drinking from a straw or chewing on the side of your mouth where a root canal was performed. If your tooth requires further restorative work, your dentist will schedule your next gentle dental appointment.