What Is a Root Canal Like? 5 Things to Expect During the Procedure

Going to the dentist for anything can be a daunting experience. Sometimes you go in for a cleaning, and you’ll leave with a cavity filled.

That’s not a bad thing. The dentist is only making sure that you have healthy teeth.

But during your last visit, your dentist told you that you need to get a root canal. That’s the one thing you’ve been trying to avoid.

Root canals are a necessary evil in our lives and might also seem complex. However, if you’re wondering what is a root canal like, don’t worry. We’ll be discussing root canals and five things you should anticipate during your procedure.

What Is A Root Canal?

A root canal is a procedure a dentist does to try and save a decaying tooth. If your tooth becomes infected, it can cause severe pain in your tooth and subsequently your jaw.

Think of it like you’re receiving a filling. It’s a pretty simple procedure but can take a little longer, depending on the tooth.

What Is a Root Canal Like?

Well, now that you know what a root canal is, it’s time to talk about what to expect during your root canal procedure. The goal isn’t to scare you away from getting a root canal.

I want you to go into your dentist’s office with the utmost confidence knowing your root canal won’t be as bad as you initially thought it would be. Here’s what you should expect during your root canal.

  1. Time For An X-ray

Before you begin your root canal, your dentist will take an X-ray of your teeth. X-rays allow the dentist to check the tooth that needs the root canal. It also helps them know if other teeth have been infected and may need possible treatment.

Note that dental X-rays can involve radiation. The radiation levels are low so that you won’t be at risk of radiation exposure. But, if you’re pregnant, tell your dentist because radiation isn’t safe for developing fetuses.

  1. Numbing Your Mouth

After the x-ray, your dentist will apply a local anesthetic to your teeth and gums. It’s not going to put you to sleep. It’ll numb the area around your mouth so that you won’t feel any pain throughout the procedure.

Once your mouth is numb, your dentist will apply a “dental dam” around your mouth. The dental dam keeps your mouth open and the area around your tooth dry.

  1. Creating Access To Your Tooth

Next, your dentist needs to make an opening in your tooth to access the decay. Movies and TV shows exaggerate this part a lot, but your experience won’t be anything like that.

Your dentist drills a hole into the infected tooth. Once access is made, the dentist uses a small instrument known as a “dental file” to remove the infected tissue from your tooth. They’ll also remove any debris and other bacteria that may be in your tooth or the surrounding area.

  1. Sealing Your Tooth

After your dentist takes the infected tissue out of your tooth, it’s time to seal it. Sealing your tooth helps prevent any other decay from occurring with the previously infected tooth.

To permanently seal your tooth, your dentist will use a rubber material called” gutta-percha.” This adhesive ensures that the tooth is filled and prevents it from reopening.

Depending on the severity of the infection, your dentist may wait a few days to seal your tooth. In the meantime, they’ll give you a temporary filling to protect your tooth from harmful bacteria.

  1. Restoration

Once your tooth is completely sealed, your dentist will apply a crown to your tooth. The purpose of the crown is to help your tooth gain its normal function back.

Sometimes your tooth might need additional restoration. In this case, your dentist will perform other restorative measures at your next appointment.

Do Root Canals Hurt?

This is a standard question when people ask what is a root canal like. No, this procedure doesn’t hurt, but you will feel some slight discomfort in the aftermath.

Your mouth will be sore and tender afterward, but it won’t require you to be on bed rest for a week. There also may be some slight swelling on the side of your mouth where the procedure was done. Also, make sure you take care of the tooth so it heals properly.

How Do I Take Care Of My Tooth After A Root Canal?

Post-treatment for a root canal is pretty straightforward. Here are a few things that you can do after your procedure to take care of your tooth:

  • Use painkillers
  • Make sure to chew on the other side of your mouth to reduce the impact on your sensitive tooth
  • Eat soft foods like yogurt, bread, or soup
  • Brush your teeth delicately

Following these tips can help you minimize root canal pain. If you need more suggestions, ask your dentist for more information about what to do after your root canal.

How Do I Know I’ll Need A Root Canal?

Your dentist will let you know if you’ll need a root canal. But there are some signs that you might need one if you haven’t been to a dentist, such as:

  • Persistent pain in your tooth or your jaw
  • Lingering sensitivity when your tooth is exposed to hot or cold foods
  • Swollen gums around the area where your tooth hurts
  • Pain when you eat on the side of the infected tooth

If you’re experiencing any of these ailments, it might be time to get a root canal. But again, double-check with your dentist to make sure.

Roots Canals Aren’t So Bad After All

Your question has finally been answered. When someone asks you what is a root canal like, you’ll be able to tell them. The procedure is simple enough, and taking care of your tooth afterward is too.

There’s nothing to be afraid of anymore. Get that root canal and get your smile back. Don’t hesitate any longer and seek dental expertise from the Cosmetic dentist Marlborough.

If I haven’t scared you away and you found this article helpful, check out our other blog posts.

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