Root canals are usually thought of as the worst dental procedures. While that might have been the case in the past, it’s no longer painful thanks to the anesthetics and modern-day pain management techniques. However, the process of root canal therapy remains a mystery to most people. Below is some useful information to help you understand root canals, and how to effectively prepare for one.
Why you Might Need a Root Canal
First, it’s important to note that your teeth are made of three main components:
- Inner pulp
- Middle dentin
- Outer enamel
Therefore, your dentist is likely to recommend root canal therapy if your outer enamel is already inflamed or infected. Most of the time, this can be caused by an untreated cavity, a chip or tooth crack. Also, injuries to the pulp might require a root canal procedure.
The Standard Root Canal Procedure
Generally, there are three steps of an effective root canal procedure that we also implement here at Texas Endodontics Center.
Your dentist will have to create an opening into your tooth pulp. But, that will be done after you receive anesthesia. So, you don’t have to worry about any pain. A hole is drilled into your tooth and the surrounding area disinfected, including the infected part of the pulp chamber.
The dentist will then proceed to give your tooth’s pulp chamber a thorough cleaning. Afterwards, they will shape the chamber in readiness to receive the filler material. Depending on the condition of your tooth crown, a post might be placed there to help with reconstruction.
Your dentist will then proceed to fill the opening and seal off your tooth leaving no room/space for bacteria to pile up and cause another infection.
If your tooth is seemingly weak, your dentist might recommend a crown to help strengthen it. However, it can be fixed later on.
How to Prepare for a Root Canal
You actually don’t need much to prepare for your root canal therapy appointment. However:
- Always ask your dentist as many questions as possible to help you feel reassured and ready for the procedure.
- If you smoke, you might have to avoid that for a couple of days. Well, until you recover, nicotine can prolong the healing process.
- Depending on the type of anesthesia your dentist will be using, they might advise you to avoid eating just before the appointment. However, ensure you eat several hours before the procedure. You will need the strength to carry you through several hours after the root canal as you might not be able to eat anything immediately
- It’s best if you get someone to drive you home after the procedure.