Senior Care - How to Provide Elderly Independence

What You Can Expect From A Root Canal Procedure

by Stephen Silva

A root canal is typically needed when a cavity is so deep that it cannot be filled any longer. It usually happens when after a cavity in the tooth has been filled, or if you don't go to the dentist to have a cavity taken care of and treated in the first place. If you are required to have a root canal, you may want to know what all is involved so you're prepared beforehand. Read on for everything you can expect at your root canal appointment as well as prevention tips to prevent cavities in the first place.

What To Expect

At your last dental appointment, your dentist checked and inspected your teeth and spotted the issue in your tooth requiring the root canal. You'll be asked to come back for the root canal, which is an in-office procedure you are awake for. Your dentist will give you a shot of Novocaine to numb your mouth and the tooth they will be working on. This may require more than one shot, and it could take time for the medicine to work.

Once numb, you shouldn't feel anything any longer in that tooth. The dentist will then drill out the affected tooth to remove the interior of the tooth and the root is also removed. Once it is all removed, you are only left with a shell of a tooth at this point. 

Your tooth shell is then cleaned thoroughly to remove any bacteria. It is filled with a rubber-like sealant and a hard sealant is put over the top, similar to a cavity filling. This helps prevent damage to the tooth shell over time and will mimic the rest of your normal teeth.

Prevention Tips

To prevent a cavity or a root canal in the first place, you need to take good care of your teeth and improve your oral health. This means you need to brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily, as well. You should also avoid sugary foods and drinks, eat and drink plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and drink plenty of water. Be sure to also get to the dentist every six months for a checkup and professional cleaning.

If you are in need of a root canal, talk to your dentist about what all you can expect, and use the information above as a helpful guide. Remember to get to the dentist for a routine cleaning and checkup every six months.