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Understanding Root Canals: What You Need to Know

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Root canals are one of the most common dental procedures that people go through. It’s essential to understand what a root canal is, how it works, and why it's necessary. Dental problems can be daunting and overwhelming, but once you know the details and what to expect, you’ll be able to face the procedure with more confidence. Explore what root canals are, the signs that you need one, what to expect during the procedure, and how to take care of your teeth after the root canal.

What Is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a dental procedure that’s necessary when your tooth is significantly decayed or infected. During the procedure, your dentist or endodontist removes the damaged tissue, pulp, and nerves from your tooth’s root. This is done to save the tooth and avoid extraction. After removing the damaged part, the endodontist will disinfect and seal the root canal to ensure that it doesn't get infected again.

Signs That You Need a Root Canal

To determine whether you need a root canal, you need to get a dental checkup. However, some signs can indicate the need for one. These include severe toothache, sensitivity to hot or cold food and drinks, discoloration of the tooth, swelling of the gum around the tooth, and gum tenderness. If you experience any of these signs, you should schedule an appointment with a dentist or endodontist immediately.

What to Expect During the Procedure

Most people fear root canal procedures, but it’s a necessary dental treatment. Before the surgery, your dentist will numb the infected area using local anesthesia. Once you’re comfortable, the dentist will create an opening in your tooth to access the root canal. They will then remove the infected tissue and clean and disinfect the root canal to eliminate any harmful bacteria. Your dentist will then fill and seal the root canal to ensure that it doesn’t get infected again.

Aftercare for Root Canal

After a root canal, you’ll need to take care of your tooth so it doesn’t get infected again. It would be best to avoid eating anything until the anesthesia wears off to avoid biting your tongue or cheek. You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever to reduce any discomfort. It’s essential to maintain proper oral hygiene by brushing and flossing twice a day and using an antiseptic mouthwash. You should also avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods for a couple of days to avoid damaging the tooth.

Root canals may seem like a daunting dental procedure, but they're one of the most effective ways to save a damaged tooth and avoid extraction. By getting regular dental checkups, you can identify the signs early and get the necessary treatment before the problem gets worse. Remember, root canals are safe, and modern dental technology has made the procedure much smoother and painless. Always follow the aftercare instructions provided by the dentist to ensure a swifter recovery.

To learn more about root canals, contact a dentist near you.