Most patients don’t look forward to getting a root canal treatment. However, there is nothing to be feared about this procedure. In fact, at our North Vancouver dental clinic we have performed countless root canal treatments with great success. If you or someone you know is scheduled for a root canal treatment, read on to learn more about the procedure!
When is a root canal needed?
When decay is left untreated for long enough, the cavity will deepen and eventually reach the pulp of the tooth. When the root and pulp of the tooth have become infected a root canal treatment is necessary to remove the infected pulp. If left untreated this infection can lead to an abscess as well as tooth or even bone loss.
What happens during a root canal?
Many people fear root canal treatments because they believe the procedure to be long and painful. While more complex than a cavity filling, it is generally not more uncomfortable. In fact, the patient will likely be in more discomfort in the days leading up to the root canal treatment due to the infection than they will be during the actual procedure. Your dentist will apply a local anesthetic and ensure that you are completely frozen before beginning the procedure. If you are uncomfortable at any point during the treatment, you can let your dentist know and he or she will be able to apply more anesthetic to the area.
Your dentist will remove the infected pulp from the tooth during the root canal treatment. After removing the infected pulp, the dentist will clean and disinfect the area. The tooth will then be filled with a tooth colored resin. However, the tooth will be significantly weakened and it is recommend that a patient get a crown to help strengthen and restore the tooth.
While some discomfort and sensitivity is to be expected after a root canal therapy, this is generally quite manageable with over the counter pain relievers. In fact, most patients do not require time off work or school following a root canal treatment. The patient will likely need to come in for a second appointment to have the tooth prepared for a crown and a subsequent one to have the crown fitted onto the tooth.
Following a root canal treatment, its necessary to observe good oral hygiene techniques, as that tooth is still at risk of decay just as the surrounding teeth are. At Valley Centre Dental Group in North Vancouver, we counsel our patients on establishing a good home care routine to help prevent decay and infections. If you have oral health concerns, please contact our North Vancouver Dental clinic to schedule an appointment.