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What to Expect from Your Root Canal Procedure


Your teeth are delicate and require the utmost care. However, with age and possible wear and tear, your teeth may need a little help staying healthy and strong. When teeth become damaged, your dentist may recommend a root canal procedure to preserve a tooth and prevent it from infecting other teeth. Learn what to expect from our endodontic treatments in case you ever need it.

Why Do I Need a Root Canal?

Root canals, or endodontic treatments, are one of the most common dental procedures. They help save millions of teeth each year. Root canal procedures are necessary if the pulp inside a tooth becomes infected. When this pulp breaks down, bacteria in the tooth can multiply and spread within the pulp chamber and cause an infection or create an abscessed tooth.

When your dentist recommends a root canal, he or she treats the dead and damaged tooth, cleans it out thoroughly, and preserves your natural tooth. Root canal procedures are often a great option for people who prefer not to lose any teeth and replace them with a dental implant or bridges.

What to Expect during Your Root Canal Procedure

Preparation for a root canal

Endodontics, also known as root canal therapy, starts with X-rays. Your dentist may take many images to make sure the dental instruments are placed in the correct spots where the infected tissue is located. Your dentist will then apply full local anesthesia. This amount is often more than what’s required for a regular filling because your dentist will be removing the nerve of your tooth.

Next, your dentist will place a sheet of latex called a rubber dam around your mouth, so when the damaged tooth is opened, no bacteria will spread to other areas. This rubber dam also prevents you from swallowing any medication placed in the mouth.

Cleaning out the damaged tooth

After your mouth is numbed and your dentist is ready for the root canal procedure, he or she will clean and disinfect the pulp area in trouble. After the damaged tissue is removed, your dentist will then reseal the area with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha.

Then, the tooth is restored back to its original look and functionality by placing a crown to protect the tooth. Upon being restored, the tooth continues to work as it has before, removing the pain, sensitivity, and threat of infection.

Root canal recovery

Some dentists perform a root canal procedure first, and then schedule a follow-up appointment to place a crown. If that is your case, do not bite or eat with the infected tooth until you have a crown placed on top to restore it. Teeth that have undergone a root canal are often prone to fracture and are sensitive.

You should experience little to no pain after your root canal. Continue to practice good oral hygiene to protect this tooth and others from further tooth decay.

Corrective Dentistry and More at Cabrillo Family Dental Care

At Cabrillo Family Dental Care, we are passionate about keeping you and your family’s teeth clean. Contact us today to schedule your biannual cleaning or to ask any questions about dental treatments your family members may need.