The term “root canal” is one sometimes used by people to quantify how painful something is. And while it might have been a good reference in the past, modern dentistry has removed the pain from the root canal process. For most people, the pain they feel before having a root canal is much more painful than actually having the procedure performed. Take a look at what root canal therapy entails and find out how much discomfort you can expect, if any.
Preparing for the Root Canal
Before root canal therapy begins, a dental hygienist will give your mouth a quick cleaning and the work area will be prepared. You’ll be given a local anesthetic to mute the pain while your tooth is being worked on.
To keep sterile the area around the tooth requiring the root canal, your dentist will place a dental dam, a thin sheet of rubber, around it.
The Root Canal
With the work area numbed from pain and the tooth protected, your dentist will carefully drill a tiny hole through the cavities that exposed the inside of the tooth to the bacteria that are plaguing it now. The drill hole will give your dentist a straight shot to the center of the tooth.
From there, your dentist will clean out decayed pulp and nerves from the center of the tooth and will leave healthy tissue behind. After cleaning out the decay, your dentist will fill the hole and seal it.
Depending on how much decay was present in your tooth, you may need to have the tooth reshaped and fitted with a dental crown. If this is the case, you’ll likely receive a temporary crown during your appointment for the root canal will need to schedule a second appointment to have the crown bonded to the top of the tooth.
Don’t want to schedule two appointments. Ask your dentist about single-visit crowns.
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