What To Expect In A Root Canal Procedure

By: Gen Wright


When you have a tooth that becomes infected or badly decayed, the only procedure that exists to effectively save the tooth and avoid extraction is a root canal procedure. Although root canals have the reputation of being quite painful, in reality most patients compare them to getting a filling put in. During a root canal procedure, your dentist will drill into the center of your tooth and clean out the infected material. Without a root canal procedure, your tooth will eventually need to be extracted and the infection can spread beyond the inside of your tooth.

How Does A Root Canal Procedure Work?

After your dentist has determined that you need to have a root canal procedure, he or she will begin the process by taking an X-ray to examine the inside of your tooth and seeing what needs to be removed. Next, he or she will anesthetize your tooth and drill an access hole into the center. The next part of the procedure consists of clearing out the tooth of all of the infected pulp material. Using root canal files, your dentist will scrape out all of the infected material. He or she will also use water and a chemical to wash away any leftover material.

After the inside of your tooth has been fully cleaned, your dentist will next have to seal the tooth. To fill the interior of the tooth, a sealer paste and rubber compound are placed in the tooth's root canal. A filling is then placed in the access hole to fully seal off the tooth. Many times, the final step involves placing a restoration over the repaired tooth. Because a root canal is often necessary because of significant decay, a crown is often needed to support the tooth and make it last for a significant amount of time. Once the restoration is complete, you will be free to leave the office and start enjoying your new healthy tooth.

What To Expect After A Root Canal

After you have gotten a root canal procedure, it is not uncommon to experience some mild pain. Treat this with over the counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or Tylenol. You should plan on resting for the rest of the day after your root canal, but most people find that they can resume their normal activities the next day. To take care of your new tooth, simply brush and floss as you normally would to make sure that it remains healthy.

Root canals are considered a highly successful treatment, with a success rate of more than 95 percent. In the rare case of a complication, it is normally due to an undetected crack in the tooth or a defective or inadequate restoration.

To learn more about root canal procedures or to schedule an appointment, contact your Mechanicsburg PA dentist.

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Smiles on Trindle Dental Care is home to three dentists in Mechanicsburg, Drs. Steven Kreiner, Christopher Wherthey and John Balas. Together, they provide exceptional dental health care for patients of all ages, including Mechanicsburg teeth whitening, veneers and Invisalign, among others.

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