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No one wants to hear from their dentist the dreaded phrase: root canal! But the truth is that many people are treated using a root canal every year. You’re not alone.
Getting a root canal can save your teeth and your smile. So it’s important to follow your dentist’s or endodontist’s recommendations. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to what you can expect when getting a root canal.
Once you understand the process, you’ll feel a lot better about the whole procedure!
Continue reading to learn more about getting a root canal and crown
What Is a Root Canal?
Inside a healthy tooth, there is a soft tissue called the pulp. This is contained within the hard white layer called the dentin. The pulp is where your tooth’s blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue is.
The pulp extends all the way from the crown of your tooth to the root and then connects to the tissues surrounding your root. When the pulp becomes inflamed or infected, due to decay, dental procedures, or because the tooth is cracked or chipped, you may need a root canal.
Damage to the pulp can lead to severe pain while chewing or biting. If left untreated it can cause illnesses in other parts of your body and even be life-threatening!
What Will a Root Canal and Crown Entail?
A root canal is known as a type of endodontic treatment. This is because it treats the inside of your tooth. During the procedure, your doctor removes the inflamed or infected pulp from your tooth and cleans inside the root canal. They may also reshape the root canal and then fill and seal in the space.
Once your root canal is completed you will return to your dentist. They will then place a crown or some form of restoration on the top of the tooth. This will protect your tooth so that you can return to using it normally again.
A root canal can save your tooth from dying and having to be completely removed.
What Can I Expect During the Procedure?
Although it seems fairly simple, getting a root canal will usually require one or two visits to your endodontist and a final visit with your dentist.
Get Your Photo Taken
Your first visit with the endodontist will include an initial examination that includes taking a radiograph or x-rays of your tooth. Your doctor will use a local anesthetic so that your tooth is numb during the procedure.
Next, your doctor will place a “dental dam” over your tooth to isolate it. This is a small protective sheet that keeps the tooth clean and blocks saliva.
Clean Out Your Tooth
Your endodontist will make a small opening in your crown. Using small instruments, he or she will clean the pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals. Then your doctor shapes the space to receive the filling.
Your tooth is filled with a rubber-like material and adhesive cement to completely seal your root canal. There may also be a temporary filling that is later removed by your dentist before it is fully restored.
Receive Your Crown
After a final visit with your endodontist, you will need to set up a visit with your dentist who will place a crown on your tooth. Be sure to visit your dentist shortly after since the treated tooth is delicate and could fracture.
You should not use your treated tooth until it has been restored by your dentist. Once it is restored, the tooth can last a lifetime and works like a regular tooth.
Save Your Smile
Now that you know what to expect when getting a root canal and smile, we hope you will be more at ease about the whole procedure.
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