Everything you need to know about root canal treatment
It’s perhaps the three words in the English language that you want to hear least. Immediately you’ll have mental images of searing pain and drills into the teeth. It’s the stuff made of nightmares.
Except it isn’t. Many people are shocked to find that not only is the root canal treatment process not as painful or terrifying as popular myth would have you believe, but it will reduce pain, save your teeth, and help maintain your oral hygiene so well that you’ll wonder what you were ever worried about.
In fact, the “pain” that people associate with root canal treatment comes before the treatment itself. The reason that you go to see your dentist in the first place – pain in the teeth – is where the procedure’s reputation comes from. The procedure itself is completely painless. A local anaesthetic is administered to numb the tooth and the surrounding area while the procedure is taking place. And, if you’re one of those people that has a real fear of dental work (don’t worry, you’re not in the minority), your dentist will be able to provide calming medicines such as nitrous oxide, to help calm you down.
So, what are the benefits of having root canal treatment?
We’ve just discussed the first reason – and priority – for root canal. Treatment is essential for removing the (quite significant) pain that an infection in the root canal can cause.
But there are more significant benefits than that. Many people believe that if they have a root canal treatment, they’ll need to have the tooth removed afterwards. The truth is actually the opposite. A successful root canal treatment process (and most root canal treatments are indeed successful) will save the tooth, meaning that it won’t need to be extracted, either as part of the treatment itself or at a later date.
How long will the treatment take?
The root canal treatment process is a routine one, and for most patients, the tooth infection will be resolved in just three appointments. The first treatment will remove the infected nerve tissue inside (which is the cause of the dental pain). The second will clean out and shape the canals and medicate the tooth, and then the final appointment to fill up the root canal space and place back a permanent filling.
At Parra Dental, we will of course make sure that you’re comfortable with each step of the process, and understand exactly what’s going on. You’ll be surprised at how comfortable and easy the whole process is!
So I should just check in if I’m feeling pain, right?
Actually, the root canal might need treatment even if you’re not feeling pain. If the tooth’s pulp is damaged or infected, you’ll need to go through the root canal treatment process, even if you’re not yet feeling pain. And this is why it’s important to keep regular appointments with your dentist, so that you can identify these issue before they progress to the point of being painful (and therefore more damaging to your health).
For that same reason it’s important that, once you’ve finished with the root canal treatment process, that you make (and keep) follow-up appointments with your dentist. As part of the procedure your tooth will be provided with a temporary filling. Infection can return if you don’t then return to the dentist to get a permanent filling or crown put in.
At Parra Dental our dentists have excellent skills and many years of experience successfully saving our patients teeth by doing root canal therapy. They are gentle and thorough and will give you frank advice on whether the tooth should be saved or extracted and replaced with a dental implant or dental bridge.
Once a diagnosis had been made, they can get you out of pain almost immediately.
Please call us now. In most cases we’ll be able to see you the very same day!