What Can I Expect From a Root Canal Therapy Appointment?
At our dental practice, we see patients daily with dental ailments, from minor plaque to severe dental pain. If you have severe tooth decay, your Maroubra dentist might schedule you for a root canal therapy appointment.
But what is root canal therapy, and what should you expect during your appointment?
Keep reading as we discuss what root canal therapy is, the procedure, why you might need it, and more.
Who Needs Root Canal Therapy?
When your teeth become severely decayed, this can expose the root of your tooth. If this happens, your tooth will be compromised. Exposure to your pulp could lead to infection, which is a direct route to your bloodstream. The airborne bacteria you inhale and the bacteria you ingest will make their way into your system more quickly.
When dentistry was less advanced, many people would suffer fatalities due to tooth decay, so you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of protecting your teeth.
If you have a pulp infection, you might experience the following symptoms:
- Pain when eating or drinking.
- When your dentist taps your tooth, you may feel no pain
- No heat sensitivity in your tooth
- Extreme sensitivity to cold
- Extreme sensitivity to sugar and sweets
- Pain in your jawbone, neck, or ear
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is essential that you reach out to your local Maroubra Dentist right away. If the issue evolves, it could lead to the following complications:
- Heart problems
- Respiratory problems
- Neurological problems
- Swollen tongue and restricted breathing
It is in your best interest to treat the problem quickly and prevent further deterioration of your health.
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
A root canal procedure attempts to save your natural tooth. If the decay is insignificant, your dentist can salvage the original tooth. Saving your natural teeth is always the most ideal option in dentistry.
To save your tooth, your dentist will take one of two routes:
- They will extract the bacteria from the inside of your tooth.
- They will remove the tooth.
Your dentist will extract the bacteria from inside the tooth by drilling a small hole and extracting all the decayed materials.
Once they have removed the decayed material, your dentist will reseal the tooth with a dental crown or filling. So, you will still be able to eat and drink normally, and you will be able to retain your natural tooth. Several types of fillings include composite fillings, ceramic fillings, and metal fillings. Speaking to your dentist will help you to determine which option is best for you and your smile.
What To Expect In My Appointment?
Many people fear that their root canal procedure will be painful. However, this is a misunderstanding. Your dentist will provide you with a local anesthetic to ensure you do not feel any pain during the procedure. The procedure will feel no more uncomfortable than a crown or filling appointment.
Once the procedure is complete, there are a few things you need to know about your recovery. You need to take excellent care of your teeth to ensure the procedure is successful. Here are some best practices to follow after your appointment:
- Take over-the-counter painkillers to reduce your oral discomfort.
- If you experience any pain or swelling with your use of painkillers, speak to your dentist.
- Keep your teeth clean with regular brushing.
- Avoid sugary foods.
- Avoid smoking or quit smoking entirely.
Following these practices can support your recovery from the procedure and ensure you do not need additional root canal procedures.
If your dentist decides that the tooth cannot be saved, they recommend an extraction. During the extraction procedure, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic to numb the area and ensure that you only feel pain and not pressure during the appointment. Then, they will use forceps and an elevator to remove the tooth manually.
In some cases, your dentist may need to remove your tooth surgically. During this process, they will administer general anesthesia. Or, you may receive both local and IV anesthesia, which could make you feel drowsy. During the procedure, your dentist will make an incision around the tooth to remove the tooth and the surrounding bone tissue.
You must have someone accompany you to your surgical extraction appointment, as you may need help to drive home or make your way home.
Once the procedure is done, you can decide whether you want a dental implant to replace the tooth. During this procedure, your dentist will drill a small implant into your jawbone to secure a false tooth. So, if you need a tooth extraction, you shouldn’t worry about any changes to how your smile looks. Your dentist can take steps to restore your smile.
Preventative Measures To Avoid Tooth Decay
As in most cases, the best way to avoid a dental issue is to take preventative measures. You can avoid needing a dental extraction or root canal procedure by practising better oral care. Here are some tips to help you look after your teeth.
- Brush your teeth for two minutes each morning and night.
- Use floss to clean the spaces between your teeth.
- Use mouthwash to clean bacteria from your gums, preferably before brushing.
- Use a tongue scraper to reduce bacteria in the tongue and saliva.
- Visit your dentist every six months for a dental cleaning.
Although you can practice better oral care at home, you’ll always miss places in your mouth. This is why you should support your oral health routines with regular visits to the dentist for dental cleaning.
If you’re experiencing pain or sensitivity in your teeth, it’s time to book an appointment with your dentist. If your dentist recommends a root canal procedure, you do not need to worry about any pain. You will be able to rid your tooth of decay and infection and restore your smile to a healthy state. If you need a root canal procedure, reach out to our friendly team of dental practitioners here at Maroubra Dental Clinic.