What Will Happen During Your Root Canal Procedure?

If you've been scheduled for a root canal appointment with your dentist or an endodontic specialist, you may be feeling a bit nervous. After all, root canals have the (false) reputation of being painful, and the prospect of having your tooth roots hollowed out is, in and of itself, a bit scary. The truth is, for the majority of patients, root canal treatments are fairly straightforward and not overly uncomfortable. Knowing what to expect will help keep you calm in the days leading up to your appointment.

Preparing for the procedure.

When you first arrive at your dentist's office, he or she will examine the tooth to see if anything has changed since the last time you were seen. Then, anesthesia will be administered to numb the affected tooth and the area surrounding it. The dentist will apply a numbing gel to your cheek, and then you'll feel a bit of a pinch and some tingling as the anesthetic is injected.

While the anesthesia is taking effect, your dentist will place a special, rubber dam in your mouth to keep saliva away from the tooth he or she will be working on. This dam may feel a bit awkward in your mouth, but if you try to relax and think about other things, you'll soon forget it's there.

Performing the procedure.

Once your mouth is fully numb, your dentist will use a special drill to create an "access hole" in your tooth by which the roots can be reached. You'll feel vibrations while the dentist drills, but you should not feel any pain.

Once the access hole is complete, your dentist will use a little electronic file tool to drill out the contents of your tooth roots. All of the dead, infected tooth root contents will be removed. Once again, you'll feel some sensations of pressure and vibrations, but you should not feel pain. If you do feel any pain, your dentist can administer some more anesthetic to block it.

Once your tooth roots are hollowed out, your dentist will clean them with a special sanitizing solution. Then, they will be filled with a medical-grade, rubber-like material. After this is allowed to dry, a filling will be placed in the access hole drilled through your tooth.

Once the anesthesia wears off, your jaw may be a bit sore from holding your mouth open for so long, but you should not have any pain. Your dentist will tell you if you need to return to have a crown put on the tooth to protect it. If you do need a crown, know that applying it is also a simple, safe procedure. Contact a dental office, such as Pinon Hills Dental, for more information.