Perceptions of root canals, based in dentistry of yesteryear, still haunt dentistry of today. Modern dentistry has streamlined the pain and discomfort out of the root canal procedure, and has done so for a while now, yet the stigma is still far from dead. Take a closer look at how root canal therapy works and can help dispel misconceptions about the process.
What Causes the Need for a Root Canal?
In its early stages, a cavity can be simply cleaned and filled. But when the cavity reaches the pulp, the nerve-filled tissue at the center of a tooth, it begins to threaten the tooth. Left untreated, the bacteria will attack the tooth pulp until there’s nothing left and the tooth falls out.
What Does the Process Entail?
After given you a shot of a local anesthetic, your dentist will place a thin sheet of rubber, known as a “dental dam,” around the tooth to keep the work area dry and sterile.
Your dentist will use a drill with a thin bit to drill through the cavity and make a clear path to the center of the tooth. Your dentist will then clean out the decayed pulp from the tooth, filing away rotted areas of the tooth. From there, your dentist may use either a temporary filling, especially if you’ll need a crown to replace a lost tooth, or you may receive a permanent filling if the damage from the decay isn’t severe.
After your procedure, the local anesthetic will begin to wear off and you’ll need to switch to ibuprofen or a similar over-the-counter painkiller to manage the subsequent tenderness and swelling at the root canal site. The swelling and tenderness should subside within a day or two.
Get More Answers About Root Canal Therapy
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