I’m sure you’ve heard of the dental procedure called a “root canal.” Perhaps your dentist told you that you needed to have the procedure done or maybe you’ve just heard about it and were wondering what exactly a root canal is.
A root canal is a routine dental procedure. Here is a summary of the root canal: what it is and what to expect with treatment:
Once it has been determined that root canal therapy is needed, a dentist will anesthetize the tooth and place a protective barrier around it in order to keep it clean. Then the dentist will clean out the nerve tissue with specially shaped instruments and may place a medicament.
When the root canal is thoroughly cleaned and shaped, a sealing material is placed in the canal and a temporary filling material is placed in the tooth until the next visit when the final restoration of the tooth will take place.
Root canal therapy, depending on the amount of canals in the tooth, can take between 1-2 visits ranging from an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes per visit.
Root canal therapy is painless if the tooth is sufficiently numb. If a tooth is infected or has been irritated for a long time, there is a possibility that getting numb may take longer than normal.
After treatment is completed, it is not uncommon to have some soreness when biting, similar to a bruised feeling. This sensitivity is normal and can be addressed with an over the counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen.
It is important to note that the difficulty/ease of the procedure depends on various factors including severity of infection. Many of our patients report experiencing little or no pain at all.
If fear of a root canal, or dental procedures in general, are preventing you from seeking dental treatment, speak to your dentist about conscious sedation.