The dentist has told you that you need a root canal treatment, and you may feel a bit scared, especially if they didn’t do a good job explaining what this entails. You may have heard rumours, or checked on the internet, and have seen that this procedure has a reputation of being painful and “bad”. While it is true that this is a more complicated procedure than a filling or a cleaning session, it is not “bad” at all; millions of people undergo this treatment daily, and it is one of the most routine procedures of conservative dentistry. Here is everything you need to know, so that you can prepare yourself for this procedure.
Root canal treatments are always at least two-step procedures. This is because root canal treatments require the dentist to remove the infected bits of the root and fill the enlarged tooth root with a medicated root filling, which needs time to kill the bacteria. The dentist then goes and checks it a few days later to see that everything is in order and gives you a final filling.
A certain amount of swelling can be expected after the procedure. This certain amount is a lot more than patients anticipate, and having the area swell up to 3 or 4 times its normal size is not at all unlikely or a problem. You may need to remove the temporary filling that it is in the tooth to drain the tooth though, and this is also normal.
You should not feel any pain during the procedure, as it is done under local anaesthetic. Afterwards the area may be a little bit sore, but you should not feel pain, just a certain amount of pressure. This procedure is frequently performed to alleviate pain in the tooth, and it does kill the nerve, as the bit of dental nerve in the tooth is removed during a root canal treatment.
Tooth roots are twisted, turning this way and that. It is not possible to remove all of the infected tissues most of the time, which is why the medicated filling needs to be in for a bit, to spread over all of the area, killing all of the germs. It is possible that some are left though, and you may need to get another medicated filling and another waiting period, until all of the infection is fought off. It does not make any sense to seal and fill up the tooth if it is still infected.
Ask these questions to dentist before root canal treatment
- Is a root canal treatment really necessary?
- Can the tooth recover?
- What is the reason of the death of the tooth in question?
- Will the infection of my tooth spread to my bone or to other teeth?
- Have I got other options? Which ones?
- What can happen to me if I don’t receive the treatment?
- Would it be better to skip root canal treatment and have a dental implant?