Getting a root canal is not necessarily the worst thing that could happen. When it’s done it’s because there is a problem with the tooth and the nerves below and it needs to be removed for health reasons as well as many times comfort. But the process is generally no worse than getting a cavity filled but it can still be a longer process depending on what the situation is.
Why are root canals done?
A root canal is diagnosed after the dentist takes an x-ray and determines that either the cavity is too deep to fill, the tooth or the tooth is cracked extensively and/or an infection is seen. The infection could be causing pain, although not all people complain of pain when it’s determined that this procedure needs to be done, or there is swelling. If there is a serious infection the dentist might prescribe medicine to help clear the infection first and then do the procedure.
How is a root canal done?
A root canal is done in more than one sitting, and that includes getting the crowns places. First, the area is numbed, just like getting a cavity filled, and then there is a sheet of rubber called a rubber dam that is placed around the tooth to keep the area they are working on dry. Once this is done and the patient is numb they remove the previous filling if necessary or drill in order to have access to the nerves and roots. The dentist will then clean and the nerves and vessels with a small file and then flush them with Sodium Hypochlorite to remove any debris. Once this is completed they will make the holes a bit bigger and place Gutta-Percha (a rubbery substance) and a sealer paste to seal off the area. That is the basis of the root canal.
Once the primary steps are competed they then will make a decision as to how to restore the tooth. In the meantime there will be a temporary crown in place to keep the area clean and so that the patient can eat. The treatment after can include a regular crown or post in order to restore the area. However, during the waiting period to get the permanent crown placed, the patient will need to be careful with eating so that they don’t damage the tooth anymore. Plus, having it crack could mean more dental work is needed such as tooth removal and even another infection if bacteria gets into it.
Once the root canal is completed and the crown is placed, generally everything feels much better and eating is back to normal. Sometimes this means that eating is even better because there is no more pain or irritation. Although many people complain that it’s the worst thing they have ever had done, it’s really not as bad as it seems and a little pain and procedure now is worth feeling better in the long run and having a healthy mouth.