Upon hearing their dentist recommend a root canal treatment, many patients experience anxiety about the upcoming procedure. In fact, some will be so anxious that they never get the root canal done, unnecessarily extending their own discomfort. At Mesquite Dental & Implant Center, we believe that understanding the details of dental procedures can help make patients feel more at ease before and during their appointment. Read on to learn more about root canals and then call our team at 972-285-8020 with any questions or concerns you have.

Root Canal FAQs

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is an endodontic dental treatment, which means that it is designed to address conditions related to the pulp inside of a tooth. The pulp is a soft tissue in the center of a tooth that contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues. If the pulp becomes diseased or infected, it may need to be removed. Root canals are an excellent way of resolving dental concerns, as they can help prevent the need for tooth extraction.

How Are they Performed?

Over the course of one to two office visits, your dentist will complete four steps while performing the root canal. These steps include:

  • Patient and tooth preparation. This initial step is when your dentist will numb the affected tooth. After this, he may isolate the tooth with something called a dental dam that will help keep the tooth clean and dry.
  • Pulp removal. Your dentist will create a small opening in the top of the affected tooth in order to access the pulp. He will then use small files to remove the pulp, and he may irrigate the site with water and an antimicrobial solution to wash away any remaining pulp and reduce the risk of infection.
  • Filling the pulp chamber. After all of the pulp has been removed, the empty chamber needs to be filled. Many times, a rigid natural latex material called gutta percha is used. The opening in your tooth will then be closed with a temporary filling.
  • Permanent crown. Within a few weeks, your dentist will complete the root canal treatment by placing a permanent crown or other permanent restoration on the top of your tooth.

What is Recovery Like?

Following your procedure, you may experience discomfort once the anesthesia wears off. This is usually minor enough that it can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. This pain may peak between 12 and 24 hours following the procedure. Additionally, your tooth and the surrounding tissue may be tender following your root canal. Within about six months, residual pain should subside.

How Can I Avoid Needing Another Root Canal?

As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Practicing good oral hygiene habits and getting frequent cleanings will help you maintain optimal dental health. Keeping up with your regular dental visits will ensure that minor issues are addressed before they have the chance to develop into larger concerns. It is also important to avoid chewing on ice or other hard objects. Not only can this habit damage and break your teeth, but it can also cause damage to root canals.

Mesquite Root Canal Dentist

Are you feeling nervous about your upcoming root canal procedure? Our team is here to provide you with the dental care that you need in order to have a happy, healthy smile, and we want to make sure that you are comfortable during the process. Depending on your unique situation, sedation dentistry may be an option that can ease your nerves for your appointment, and we are happy to discuss your specific areas of concern related to your scheduled root canal. Contact our team today to speak with a friendly member of our team.