If you have a tooth that has been hurting, you may be willing to do just about anything to get rid of the pain. Root canals can offer a great solution when it comes to tooth pain. If you have never had a root canal, here is some information you need to know.
What Is a Root Canal?
Root canals are the best way for dentists to save teeth. When a tooth has significant decay, the cavity you have in the tooth may bore into your tooth pulp, which is full of nerves and blood vessels. This is what causes pain in your tooth.
In a root canal, the dentist clears out the infected tooth pulp, treats the area with antibiotics, and then caps the tooth with a crown to protect it. This procedure saves the tooth, because without it, the tooth will eventually die, and you will lose it.
What Actually Happens in a Root Canal?
First, the dentist will deaden the area around the tooth, so that you don't feel any pain. You will feel pressure, but the actual procedure should not hurt. If you are worried about pain during the procedure, discuss it with your dentist ahead of time.
After your mouth has been numbed, the dentist will cut the top of your tooth, and then will extract the infected tooth pulp. After the pulp is extracted, dentists may treat the area with antibiotics to guard against infection. Finally, your tooth will be capped with a crown to protect it.
You can prepare for a root canal ahead of time. Be sure and have cold, soft foods on hand. You will want to be gentle with your mouth for a couple of days after a root canal. Soup and hot beverages may also be soothing. You can also take over the counter pain medication.
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