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Root canals tend to frighten patients. But not by patients that have actually experienced them – rather, they’re often surprised by how pleasant the procedure is. Those who have not actually had root canals are usually the ones terrified by the prospect. This is because of the misinformation about root canals that fills our culture. By learning more about the specifics of the procedure, you can comfort yourself with the truth about treatment. Read on for some information about what a root canal is really like, and what you can expect from your own treatment.
The Root Canal Procedure
Having a root canal is actually similar to getting a cavity filled. The root canal simply delves deeper into the tooth. In order to understand, you’ll need to consider the stages of tooth decay. A cavity starts at a tooth’s surface, where it eats away at the enamel. Once it has progressed through the enamel and dentin, it reaches the tooth’s inner pulp. This infects the pulp, requiring its removal.
A root canal is the removal of that tooth’s infected pulp. While patients with tooth infections typically experience a great deal of pain leading up to their root canal, the endodontic treatment will remove the tooth’s nerves, numbing it to any future sensations. In this way, root canals are a source of relief. Moreover, during the procedure, you will receive anesthesia and will not feel a thing. Anxious patients also have the option of dental sedation.
During a root canal:
- A small hole is drilled in the lingual (tongue-facing) side of the tooth
- The tooth’s pulp is removed through the hole
- X-rays are taken to ensure the tooth is clean of infection
- The tooth is filled to prevent further problems
- The entry point is sealed and the root canal is complete.
If the treated tooth is involved in your bite, we will likely place a crown over the remaining structure to help it survive.
Facing a Root Canal?
Get in touch with Dr. Baudean’s office to discuss your procedure before the big day.