A root canal is one of the most common endodontic procedures we perform in our office. When people think of root canals, they often think of searing pain, loud drills, and the unpleasant feeling of knowing their tooth is being scraped from the inside out. However, most of the fear patients have really have nothing to do with the root canal and everything to do with the dental issues that require a root canal.
What’s a root canal?
A root canal is a procedure that clears infection from the center of the tooth and the tooth’s root. A root canal is also used to treat broken or cracked teeth, other injuries, and deep cavities. Instead of removing the tooth, Dr. Kelly Zhao drills through the tooth, removes the infection, and replaces it with a material called gutta percha.
What are the steps of a root canal?
The first thing Dr. Zhao will do after applying a numbing agent is to create an opening in the crown of your tooth to the pulp chamber (the center of it). Special files will be used to remove the infection and unhealthy pulp and irrigate the canals to remove debris. To prevent future infections or contamination, your tooth will be filled with gutta percha, and then rebuilt with a permanent filling or crown.
Benefits of root canal therapy
Root canal therapy (RCT) has many benefits and is usually the first choice before resorting to more serious alternatives like tooth extraction. This allows them to save your tooth and smile. Removing a tooth can cause other teeth to shift and looks unattractive. With root canal therapy, you have a minor procedure and don’t have to get fitted for a dental implant to fill in where your tooth was.
What is recovery like?
You can expect to recover from your root canal within a week. However, you can decrease recovery time by avoiding the side of the mouth where you had the root canal when chewing and temporarily reducing extreme cold or heat. Most patients experience slight pain, however, unless otherwise prescribed, your dentist will likely recommend over the counter pain relief medications.
If you’ve experienced a tooth injury or have a persistent toothache, a root canal might be needed to alleviate your pain. Contact Arc Dental today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Zhao!