Seeing a general dentist every six months for regular cleaning and checkup and possibly fillings are common, but they can also perform a root canal. The regular cleanings you receive at the general dentist's office will remove any plaque buildup on your teeth, and this will help prevent gum disease. The fillings you receive are…
A Dentist Eases Anxiety About Root Canal Treatment With These FAQs
A root canal treatment is sometimes the recommended treatment for a serious cavity or decaying tooth. A root canal refers to the passageways from the pulp chamber to the ends of the tooth's roots. The treatment can save a tooth when the pulp becomes infected or inflamed, but some patients may be uneasy about the procedure.
Common questions about root canal treatment
The following questions may help ease any anxiety patients have about getting a root canal.
Why would a patient need a root canal?
A tooth's pulp may become damaged, infected or inflamed due to injuries, dental procedures, extensive decay, cracks, or damaged crowns. The pulp deteriorates and bacteria enter the tooth, where it leads to an infection of the pulp. Without treatment, patients may suffer bone loss around the tooth, a hole within the tooth for drainage, swelling, or tooth loss .
Signs a patient may require a root canal include:
- Tenderness and swelling of the gums
- Severe tooth pain when chewing or when pressure is applied
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Tooth and gum discoloration
The only way to save a seriously infected tooth is through the root canal.
Who performs the root canal?
Only dental professionals can safely perform a root canal. Dentists undergo training to address the dental pulp and save a person's natural teeth.
How common is root canal treatment?
Knowing how common a root canal is may ease a patient's anxiety. Surveys from the American Association of Endodontists indicate over 15 million root canals performed in the country every year. When it comes to dental procedures, root canals are considered a standard treatment.
What happens during the root canal?
The process includes cleaning and disinfecting the inside of the tooth. Then, the dentist fills the tooth with synthetic material or paste before sealing it with a filling or crown. At the beginning of the procedure, the dentist drills a hole in the top of the tooth. Once the dental pulp is exposed, the inside of the tooth is cleaned and coated with an antibiotic. Then the dentist fills the tooth and seals it. If patients require a permanent crown or filling, they may need a second appointment.
Will the root canal be effective?
No one wants to go through with a dental procedure only to have it fail. Throughout the last few decades, root canal procedures have become more advanced. Endodontic literature shows a root canal as having a 95% success rate. Most of the time, a person who receives a root canal treatment has a repaired tooth that lasts.
Is a root canal safe?
Humans have performed root canals for over 200 years. Nowadays, the instruments, techniques, and technology professionals use are so advanced the treatment is typically safe and predictable. Root canals have a minimal recovery time. Generally, over-the-counter pain medication and avoidance of hard foods for a short time is the major aftercare needed.
For patients who suffer from serious tooth infections, root canals can save the teeth. Dentists perform safe root canals daily with few to no complications.
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