Cavities are something that people are used to hearing about. A cavity is a hole in the tooth. It happens when a tooth decays or breaks down. The hole can grow bigger and deeper over time and the pain that accompanies a cavity will get worse. If the cavity gets progressively worse and the decay gets worse, the procedure to fix the cavity will become more difficult. It could become necessary to undergo root canal therapy.
The idea of having a cavity filled at the dentist is scary enough to some people. They don’t like the thought of hearing the sound of the dentist’s drill and the pain that they think getting the cavity repaired will cause. If they are fearful of that, they may be terrified of getting root canal therapy. Instead of avoiding the treatment because you think it may not be a pleasant experience, it is better to learn what is involved in root canal therapy. When you can do that, you may be able to overcome the fear and allow the dentist to help restore the health of your teeth.
The Root Canal Procedure
A root canal will require one or two visits to the dentist. A second visit may be required based on the size and length of time that the abscess has been present. The first step is to numb the infected area. This is usually done though a local anesthesia. Some patients will get additional types of anesthesia if they need to be calmed down more. Once the tooth is numb, a dental dam will be placed over the tooth. This will prevent the area that is being worked on from getting contaminated by saliva or other contaminants that are present in the mouth.
The top of the tooth is opened using a drill. The pulp is removed from the inside of the tooth to expose the root canals. The canals are cleaned with a disinfecting solution. The canals are then shaped and filed to make sure that all of the infected material is removed. X-rays will be used to make sure that the canals are cleaned and infection free.
At this point, a dentist may opt to inject medicine into the canal to kill any bacteria. They will then use a temporary filling or crown to keep the medicine in place and to protect the root canal. Once they have done this or if they decide this step is not necessary, a permanent crown or filling can be put into place. A dentist may opt to add other things to make sure the tooth is strong after the root canal. A post can be put in to support the permanent crown. A crown can be placed over the tooth to protect it from fracturing. Once a root canal has been done, a person will need to make sure they maintain good oral hygiene practices to keep their teeth healthy in the future.
There is little doubt that having a root canal is not the most pleasant experience in the world. Instead of thinking about how painful this procedure is, it is better to realize that the root canal therapy only lasts a very short time. Ignoring the problem could cause problems that affect people for a whole lot longer. It should help you make the choice to get necessary root canal therapy done when it is needed, a bit easier.