What To Expect When You Have A Root Canal

If you have an abscessed tooth, your dentist may recommend you have a root canal to treat it. Maybe you've heard horror stories about root canals and are afraid to go through with the procedure. However, keep in mind, your tooth and gums will be numb during the process, so the pain should not be that bad. When people reflect on their bad experience with a root canal, they're probably remembering all the pain associated with the abscessed tooth that led up to having the procedure done. Going through the procedure will make you feel better when over. Here's what you can expect.

Dealing With Pain And Fear

If you have an abscessed tooth, you've probably put off dental care when it was needed. If you avoided the dentist out of a phobia, you should know there are ways to deal with your fear, so you can get your tooth treated. The dentist numbs your tooth and gum with anesthetic before doing the procedure, so you don't have much sensation in the area at all. If you're afraid of needles or the sound of the dental drill, talk to your dentist about taking medications that can help you relax. Your dentist may be able to offer some sort of sedation, such as nitrous oxide, that assists with pain relief and relaxation.

Undergoing The Procedure

To do a root canal, the dentist drills a hole in your tooth and then inserts a scraper into the hole to clean the infection out of your tooth root. When the infection is removed, the dentist may put in an antibiotic and cover it with a temporary filling or temporary crown. Completing a root canal procedure is usually a two-step process. The infection is treated in the first visit and the tooth restoration is completed on your next visit.

Restoring The Tooth

Once your abscessed tooth has healed, the dentist will put in a permanent filling or crown. If your tooth has decayed to the point where you need a root canal, there is a good chance you'll need a crown too. The crown fits over your old tooth once the decay has been removed. With the crown in place, you'll be able to chew and eat without pain, which is something you may not have been able to do for a long time.

Getting Started

The first step to having a root canal procedure is to go in for an examination of your toothache. The dentist will probably take an x-ray to determine the extent of infection and decay. He or she will probably give you antibiotics to take for several days to help cure the infection before the treatment begins. The antibiotics should reduce infection and swelling, so your tooth won't be as tender when it is time for your dental work.

Although you may have fear associated with going to the dentist, just focus on how much better you'll feel once your painful tooth is fixed and your toothache is gone. Find a dentist who works well with fearful patients, so you are put at ease. You'll probably discover going through a root canal is not as bad as you feared. Contact a local dentist, such as Rick Chavez DDS, for further information.