Everything You Need to Know About Root Canals
It’s extremely important to take proper care of your teeth. Not doing so can lead to a lot of potential dental issues in the future. One common side effect of not taking care of your teeth is dealing with a cavity. Teeth further left untreated can lead to someone having periodontal disease. In fact, statistics show that 47.2% of adults 30 and over have some type of periodontitis. One way to effectively treat severe decay is with a root canal. In this post, you’ll learn about what to expect before, during, and after the root canal process.
What Causes the Need for a Root Canal
The main reason someone needs to get a root canal is to remove decay or infection that has invaded the pulp. You can prevent this by regularly brushing and flossing your teeth as part of a proper home dental care plan. Your teeth have layers, the outermost layer is known as the enamel. Brushing and flossing cleans the enamel of your teeth. In fact, the American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth at least twice a day. As untreated tooth decay erodes the enamel and dentin, cavities occur.
Cavities are often accompanied by pain. If left untreated, the size of your cavity will increase. As this happens, you’re likely to feel more sensitivity and pain in this particular tooth. Cavities that continue to delve into the dentin will eventually reach a tooth’s nerve. Once decay has entered a tooth’s nerve, you’ll likely need to have a root canal. Before this begins, a dentist will likely need to perform a consultation or cleaning. In turn, this allows the dental professional to have a clearer understanding of which treatments you’ll need.
The Root Canal Process
It’s understandable to feel terrified after hearing that you’ll need a root canal. While these procedures have a scary reputation, the process is much easier and less painful than what you’re likely thinking of. Root canals are incredibly common procedures for dentists to perform. Statistics show that at least 20% of people living in the United States have untreated cavities.
Root canals sound a lot worse than they actually are. First, don’t worry about feeling pain during this procedure. A general dentist will ensure that you’re thoroughly numb before this procedure begins. If you have anxiety about having dental work performed, you can ask for nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, before and throughout your procedure. After you’re numb, the dentist will open your tooth and clean the decay. Once the decay is fully removed, the root is medicated and packed with filling.
What to Expect Afterwards
After your root canal procedure is over, the numbing medication should work for sometime. Before leaving the dentist, you’ll likely receive prescriptions for pain medication. In certain cases, you’ll also have other medications prescribed to you. These medications should help ensure that any pain is easy to handle and subsides quickly.
In closing, there are several steps that occur when someone needs to have a root canal. It’s understandable to assume this procedure is something to fear. However, modern dental technology has ensured that root canals are easier to perform than ever before. You will receive a numbing shot and can also have laughing gas in the event that you’re still feeling anxious. After receiving a root canal, you’ll likely be written a few prescriptions. Follow all post care instructions given to you by your dentist and you should recover quickly from this procedure.