Root canal treatment can get a bad rap. Knowing more about your root canal procedure can calm any nerves you may have regarding your treatment. At Sans Souci Dental, you will be in the trusted hands of a dental professional who oversees your root canal procedure while using state-of-the-art dental technology to ensure your comfort.
What is a root canal?
A root canal procedure is a common surgery that falls within regular services your dentist provides.
It is estimated that 15.1 million root canal treatments are performed by dentists each year.
Root canals have a very high success rate. A root canal procedure is similar to routine fillings and can generally be accomplished across one or two visits depending on the health and state of your teeth.
The inside of your affected tooth is cleaned out, sterilised, and then sealed back up.
A root canal procedure involves removing the infected pulp inside your tooth. The pulp is the connective tissue that resides beneath your tooth enamel and dentin and contains nerves and blood vessels. The primary purpose of this tissue is to help your tooth roots grow during a tooth’s initial development.
A fully-grown tooth can survive without its pulp because the tooth continues to receive nourishment from the other tissues surrounding it.
Why get a root canal?
A root canal procedure can save your mouth from a lot of discomfort and other complications, but most of all, this simple procedure can fully restore a damaged or decayed tooth and save it from extraction.
If you are nervous about your root canal therapy, remember that the consequences of not getting one can be much worse than the treatment itself because the infection can spread to your gums and other teeth.
The most common way for pulp to become infected is when a tooth breaks. Chips and cracks allow bacteria to squeeze past the protective layers of your enamel and dentin and go to the root of your tooth.
Teeth often become infected after common injuries like impact during a sports game or after a fall. Infections can also begin in the gums and spread to the teeth, and vice versa.
People can generally tell if their tooth is infected based on the symptoms that arise. One of the signs most often noticed first is an unusually bad taste and odour coming from the mouth.
Once a tooth begins to decay, the natural colour and shine begin to lessen. Infected teeth can turn from natural white to a dim grey, brown, or in extreme cases, black.
Another sign of tooth infection is a dental abscess, which is a build-up of pus that forms at the tip of your tooth’s root.
What happens during a root canal?
Your dentist will discuss the steps with you and make sure you understand and are comfortable with the root canal procedure before it is performed. They will also take x-rays of your tooth. A sedative agent is always used during any standard root canal procedure for a safe and comfortable procedure.
At Sans Souci, if you experience dental anxiety, your dentist will use the sedative agent nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing or happy gas, in combination with a local anaesthetic. The chemical is mixed with oxygen to make it easier to inhale, and you draw it in through a small mask the covers your nose.
Laughing gas is administered to make you more relaxed and achieve a more comfortable state during your procedure. Nitrous oxide dulls pain and induces euphoria so that the effects can be quite pleasant. The effects of nitrous oxide generally wear off within a couple of minutes of removing the mask.
An access hole is drilled into the tooth during a root canal procedure. The infected pulp is removed from the root canals. The tooth is then cleaned with water and sodium hypochlorite. The tooth is then sealed, and a temporary filling restores the tooth’s shape and function. You will require additional appointments to place a permanent filling or be fitted for a crown.
How will I feel afterwards?
You may experience moderate discomfort for a few days following your root canal procedure. Your dentist will recommend that you abstain from hard foods for at least a couple of days to avoid irritability. You can also talk to your dentist about what kind of medicine you can take to manage discomfort.
At Sans Souci Dental, we provide quality care for a wide range of dental services. If you feel you need a root canal, don’t wait. Call us today at (02) 8073 9218 or visit us online to book an appointment.