The process of getting a root canal can feel daunting to people who have not been through it before, especially if they buy into the false perception that the treatment is tremendously painful (which it is not). If you know what to expect from root canal treatment, including the follow-up care that is needed after the procedure itself, you’ll be well-prepared for your course of treatment.
The Root Canal Treatment Process
An endodontist – who specializes in treating conditions that affect the interior portion of the tooth – performs a root canal to remove infected pulp tissue from the innermost core of a patient’s tooth. Typically that tissue is protected from bacterial infiltration by the strong tooth material surrounding it, but if the tooth is broken or severely damaged and the pulp chamber is exposed, infection can develop.
After numbing the treatment site with a local anesthetic, the endodontist will create a small hole in the tooth in order to access the pulp, which is then removed. The empty chamber is then thoroughly disinfected to reduce the risk that bacteria will repopulate the site. After it is cleaned, the pulp chamber is then filled with an inert rubber-like substance called gutta percha.
You may have heard that root canals are quite painful, but that’s really a misconception. Most patients report that the sensation of a root canal is similar to having a cavity filled.
Follow-up After Your Root Canal
Although it is performed in order to save a tooth, a root canal can make the tooth more susceptible to breakage, so you will be referred back to your general dentist to have a dental crown placed on the treated tooth for additional protection. You will also have periodic follow-up appointments with your endodontist to monitor the success of the root canal treatment.
If you are in need of a root canal, we are happy to give you any treatment information that you need that might help the process go more smoothly for you. Call Access Endodontics to speak to one of our knowledgeable staff members or better yet, come in for a consultation.