What Exactly Is a Root Canal?

“I need a root canal, and I’m scared!”
With so many horror stories about pain associated with root canals, we understand that many people are afraid when they are advised that they need a root canal. Our dental team believes that the more informed our patients are about their treatment, the more comfortable they will be. Before explaining how a root canal is done, you should be assured that your tooth will not be removed in order to have the root canal and that we will ensure that you are completely numb through the entire procedure. You can expect the following steps to happen during your root canal:
1. After you are numb, the affected tooth will be isolated from the saliva in your mouth with a sheet-like rubber dam.
2. The dentist will create an access hole in the top of your tooth through which he can remove the nerve pulp from your tooth. As you are numb, you should not feel anything during this part of the procedure.
3. Next, the interior of your tooth’s root will be cleaned and shaped and medication will be added to help eliminate any remaining bacteria.
4. The cleaned and shaped root canal is filled and permanently sealed.
5. In most cases, we strongly encourage that you have a crown placed on a root-canalled tooth for long-term stability and function.
While it is normal for your tooth to feel sensitive following a root canal, especially if you were in pain prior to treatment, this can most often be relieved with over-the-counter medications. You can eat your regular diet and brush your teeth as usual following a root canal, although you may choose a “softer” diet for the following two or three days.

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