What Is a Root Canal?
- Posted on: Dec 27 2018
Many people hear the term “root canal” and immediately want to run and hide. The procedure is associated with pain, but often the alternative to a root canal is to lose the tooth. The abscess created when the tooth’s pulp breaks down can also lead to a number of health concerns, so you want it dealt with as soon as possible. By learning more about a root canal, you’ll see why it’s a necessity and will feel more comfortable about the entire procedure.
What Makes a Root Canal Necessary?
In order to understand what a root canal is, you need to know when one is necessary. When your tooth has become infected or has decayed to the point that the dental pulp is exposed, the pulp slowly breaks down. This leaves a hole or abscess in the center of your tooth. That area can become full of bacteria. It can also serve as an opening for these bacteria to enter your bloodstream, leading to many other health issues, some of which are very serious. A root canal fills this abscess.
The Steps of a Root Canal
When you have a root canal, you will be given a local anesthesia, so you won’t actually feel any pain during the procedure. Following this, the tooth will be opened up more using a small dental drill. The damaged pulp will be removed, and the inner part of the tooth will be cleaned.
Next, the tooth will be filled with a durable substance to keep bacteria out. Your tooth will be closed up using a temporary filling. Several weeks later, you’ll return and get a permanent crown on the tooth. All in all, it’s a fairly simple and very common procedure that isn’t nearly as scary as people believe.
After Your Root Canal
You will feel a little pain once the anesthesia wears off, just as you would from any procedure. However, over-the-counter medications are strong enough to handle the pain. You will want to be careful with what you eat for a few days, especially while you still have the temporary filling. Do you need a root canal, or would you like to learn more about the process? Contact Laurence A. Langer, DDS, to discuss your dental needs today.