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GETTING TO KNOW THE MODERN ROOT CANAL
While you don’t know what a root canal is, you probably do not want to get one. Root canals have become synonymous with pain; however, modern root canals are faster, more effective, and thanks to sedation choices, you don’t have to think about suffering through any pain. There’s still a lot of mystery about root canals – What are they? Who needs them? What do they fix? Learn more about the basics of root canal therapy in this blog and contact a board-certified dentist in Columbus, OH to schedule an oral health exam.
WHAT DOES A ROOT CANAL TREAT?
Your teeth are made up of the crown (the portion of your tooth visible over the gumline) and the roots (the tips of your tooth connected to your jawbone and held in place by your gums). The enamel is the hard exterior of your teeth that protects the interior pulp (soft tissue, nerves, and blood vessels). When the enamel is damaged, it allows bacteria to infect the pulp. When your tooth becomes infected (also called a dental abscess), a root canal is necessary to treat the infection. Without a root canal, the infection can destroy the tooth and spread to whole mouth, and eventually, your body.
WHAT CAUSES A TOOTH INFECTION?
SYMPTOMS OF AN INFECTED TOOTH
PRE-ROOT CANAL PROCESS
If you have symptoms of an infected tooth, schedule an oral health exam and consultation with your board-certified dentist in Columbus, OH. Tell your dentist about your concerns and how long you have had symptoms. Your dentist might get digital x-rays, perform a manual inspection, and use other tools to identify your problem. If your tooth is infected or abscessed, your dentist may recommend a root canal. At DentalWorks – Easton, we offer a few sedation methods, like nitrous oxide gas and oral-conscious sedation, to keep you relaxed and comfortable during your procedure. These options should be determined before you schedule your root canal so you will know if you can drive after your treatment.
GETTING A ROOT CANAL
After you arrive at the dentist for your scheduled root canal, you will be taken to a treatment room where your dental team will help you lay back and get comfortable. If you took an oral-conscious medication, this should start to help you relax. Patients receiving nitrous oxide gas will have a small hood placed over their nose, so they can start to relax. The surrounding tissue will be numbed with a local anesthetic and a dental dam can be used to keep the tooth clean and dry throughout the procedure. To begin your root canal, any decayed enamel will be cleaned from the tooth. After this, your dentist will suction out the pulp, then they will clean out and disinfect the interior of the tooth. The tooth will now be filled with a special compound made of sealant and rubber paste. Once the tooth is filled and sealed, your dentist will generally place a dental crown over it for strength and protection.
AFTER YOUR ROOT CANAL
After a root canal, you should plan to go home and take it easy for at least the remainder of the day. Your mouth may feel a little sore and sensitive, so many patients prefer a liquid or soft foods diet. You should keep your mouth clean with gentle brushing and rinsing with mouthwash. Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics and/or pain medication to help you heal and recover. Your dentist will most likely ask you to schedule a follow-up exam so they can make sure the infection is cleared.
OR JUST DON’T NEED A ROOT CANAL
The smartest thing you can do to avoid a root canal is go to your appointments at your dentist in Columbus, OH at least twice each year for an exam and professional cleaning. During exams and cleanings, your dental team will check for issues like cavities and chipped or cracked teeth that could cause an infection. By treating the smaller issue, you can prevent an infection, which will lead to a root canal. It’s also wise to make sure you are brushing and flossing your teeth correctly twice a day at home. If you need advice on proper home oral hygiene or you would like to schedule an appointment for an exam and cleaning, contact DentalWorks – Easton. Our friendly team is happy to help you improve the health and appearance of your smile so we don’t have to perform a root canal or any other procedures.