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Root Canal Treatment

While it’s understandable that patients can be concerned about the need for a root canal treatment, as with any type of medical procedure, there really is nothing to fear about this extremely common dental therapy. The root canal procedure ensures that your pain is relieved and that you get to keep your natural tooth.

Needing Root Canal Treatment

Decay or a tooth abscess may progress to the point that a root canal procedure is required. This normally happens when decay reaches into the inner, soft tissues of a tooth. This is where the blood supply and nerves are found. If the infection reaches here, it will be very uncomfortable, so you definitely want to get some pain relief. A root canal treatment relieves you of your pain and prevents the loss of your natural tooth.

The procedure itself involves the removal of the inflamed and decayed dental pulp within the tooth. Your dentist would then fill the resulting space using a material called gutta-percha.

Finally, your dentist will place a dental crown over the treated tooth. The reason for the crown is that a tooth that has undergone root canal therapy will be structurally weaker than it was before. A dental crown helps to provide additional strength and support for such a tooth.

What about extracting the tooth instead?

Although extraction is an option, it is not normally recommended. The goal of the root canal treatment is to save your natural tooth. You will need teeth for chewing and to prevent problems from developing due to the loss of your natural tooth.

For example, when you have a space between your teeth due to a missing tooth, the surrounding teeth can begin shifting into this empty space. The jawbone underneath the site of the missing tooth can also begin deteriorating, which can even lead to undesirable changes to your facial appearance.

Root Canal Preparations and Recovery

Your dentist will provide you with a detailed list of instructions to prepare for your root canal procedure, but there are some elements common to most root canal procedures.

  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco products: Do not smoke or drink for 24 hours before your root canal. Your dentist will be numbing the area, and you don’t want to have an adverse reaction.
  • Eat something beforehand: The anesthetic will numb your mouth for several hours after your treatment, making it hard to eat. So unless you are specifically advised otherwise, you may want to eat a snack or small meal before your root canal.
  • Ask questions: You will want to make sure that you understand everything about the procedure and your recovery, so be sure to ask any questions that you may have.
  • Get a good night’s rest: When you rest, your body is able to recover more quickly. So be sure to get a full night’s sleep, both before and after your root canal treatment.

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If you have questions about Galleria Dental Arts, get in touch with our friendly team today at (703) 368-9777.