FAQs About Root Canal Treatments

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If you have an infection in your tooth root, your dentist will generally recommend a treatment called a root canal. In this treatment, the living tissue is removed from the canals inside your tooth roots. The tooth roots are then filled with a silicone compound, and a cap is placed over the tooth for continued protection. Root canal treatments can be a bit time-consuming to undergo, but this is a common and well-established dental treatment that usually has good results. Here are a few questions you might have as your own root canal appointment approaches.

Will the treatment be painful?

When you tell someone you need a root canal, they might react by saying "oh, those hurt so bad" or "those are so painful." Somehow, root canal treatments got the reputation of being painful, but this is not an accurate portrayal. The conditions that make a root canal necessary—dental infections and abscesses—do cause pain. But the root canal treatment itself should not be painful, thanks to anesthesia. Your dentist will administer a local anesthetic to numb your tooth and the surrounding area before they do any work. Often, the anesthetic is injected right near a nerve, so it's really effective and long-lasting. You should not feel anything other than pressure and maybe some vibrations as your dentist is performing a root canal. If you're in pain from an infection, the root canal should alleviate that pain.

Why do you need two appointments?

If your dentist had you schedule two appointments for the root canal, the second one is likely to have a crown put in your tooth. Many dentists like to do this part at a separate appointment so you're not in the chair as long. The root canal itself can take an hour or two, so they have you come back for the crown, which is another one to two-hour procedure.

Do you need any medications afterward?

This depends on the circumstances that made your root canal necessary. Many people do benefit from taking an antibiotic after root canal treatment. This will help ensure the infection is fully cleared. Your dentist may also give you a pain reliever to take for a few days. This should ease any residual pain you have from the infection or from the pressure placed on your jaw during the root canal treatment.

Hopefully, this information has helped you feel more comfortable and confident as your root canal approaches. Reach out to your dentist if you have any other questions about root canals