How Is Your Health?

What to Keep in Mind About Root Canals

by Camila Davidson

If you have recently been to the dentist for tooth pain, you may be none too pleased to find out that your dentist is recommending you get a root canal. Many people are afraid of root canals or have negative impressions of them based on hearsay and rumors. However, before you come to any conclusions about whether you will be going through with a root canal or not, get to know some of the important facts to keep in mind about root canals. Then, you can better decide if this is the right dental treatment for you. 

Root Canals Deal with Infected Pulp

The purpose of a root canal procedure is to deal with infected dental pulp. The pulp is the soft tissue as well as the nerves inside of your hard tooth structure.

When this pulp gets infected, a root canal is the only way to treat it (aside from removing the tooth entirely). This is due to the fact that antibiotics are unable to reach the dental pulp and therefore cannot effectively treat the bacterial infection. Antibiotics travel in the bloodstream, but the dental pulp is not directly connected to that bloodstream and is a different system, thus requiring different treatments. 

Root Canals Are Not Painful

Just like with any major dental procedure, root canals are performed under local anesthesia. Your tooth and the area surrounding it will be numbed while you undergo the procedure. Therefore, unlike popular misconceptions, you will not be in pain during the procedure. In fact, you will likely feel nothing at all (if not slight pressure). 

You do not need to be afraid of the procedure because of pain. Chances are the pain you feel from the infection far outweighs any discomfort you may feel during or after the root canal procedure. 

It is common to be a little sore after the procedure, as with any major dental work. But over-the-counter pain relievers should be enough to manage the soreness. And again, it will likely be less uncomfortable than the infection itself. 

You Will Need a Follow-Up

After the root canal is done, your dentist will put a temporary filling in your tooth to protect its structural integrity. This means you will need a follow-up to get the tooth ready for permanent use. While the temporary filling is in, you will want to try not to chew or bite with that tooth to prevent cracks. 

Once you get in for your follow-up though, you will get a permanent filling and/or a dental crown on your tooth. These are durable and strong, meaning you can resume chewing and eating like normal. 

Now that you know some of the facts to keep in mind about root canals, you can be sure to schedule your root canal appointment as soon as possible and get that infection taken care of.