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Things You Should Know Before Undergoing a Root Canal Procedure

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If your dentist has recommended that you get a root canal, you may be feeling a bit anxious about the procedure. Root canal in Coral Gables are a common treatment, but they still make many people nervous. The good news is that with modern techniques and anesthetics, root canals are not much more uncomfortable than getting a cavity filled. 


Knowledge is power, so understanding exactly what a root canal involves and what to expect can help put your mind at ease. Here are some key things you should know before undergoing this endodontic treatment:


What is a Root Canal?


The “canal” refers to the natural cavity within the center of your tooth. This hollow area contains the pulp, which is made up of nerves and blood vessels that help the tooth grow. When the pulp becomes infected or inflamed due to deep decay, a crack, or an injury, it needs to be removed to prevent the formation of an abscess.


During a root canal procedure, the infected or inflamed pulp is carefully extracted, the inside of the tooth is cleaned and disinfected, and the empty canals are filled and sealed. This prevents further infection and helps preserve the natural tooth.  


The Root Canal Procedure


The first step is administering anesthesia to numb the area around the affected tooth. Contrary to what you may have heard, root canals are no more painful than getting a cavity filled once the area is numb.


Next, a small hole is drilled into the top of the tooth to access the pulp chamber and root canals. Small instruments are used to remove the diseased pulp and clean out the inside of the tooth.


After the space is disinfected and dried, it is filled with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. This flexible material is designed to seal and protect the now-empty root canals. Finally, a temporary or permanent filling is placed to cover the access hole on the top of the tooth.


Root Canal Recovery


The most common thing patients experience after a root canal is minor soreness or tenderness in the area for a few days. This is completely normal and can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication as needed. More severe pain or swelling would be unusual.


Your tooth may feel a little different than your natural teeth for some time after the procedure. This is because the lack of pulp and live nerves within the tooth can make it feel somewhat rigid compared to your other teeth. This is to be expected and is no cause for concern.


You’ll need to return for a follow-up appointment to get a permanent crown or filling placed over the treated tooth. This will restore its full functionality and protect it from reinfection or fractures down the road.


Root Canal Benefits: 


While no one wants to have a root canal, this treatment is preferable to losing the natural tooth altogether. The thought of a root canal may seem daunting, but the benefits are significant:

  1.  Relieves pain and discomfort from the infected tooth 
  2.  Allows you to keep your natural tooth, preserving your bite and smile
  3.  Stops the spread of infection to other areas
  4.  More affordable than extracting and replacing the tooth
  5.  Restores functionality so you can chew and bite normally


With the proper anesthesia and skilled endodontist, root canals are a routine procedure with a very high success rate. Most people experience little to no pain during or after the process.


Conclusion


If your dentist at Forma Dental in Coral Gables recommends a root canal, don’t panic. This common procedure simply removes the diseased pulp to save the natural tooth and resolve any infection or inflammation. Knowing what to expect can go a long way toward alleviating any anxiety you may feel about undergoing this treatment.


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