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Root Canal Treatment

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The term “root canal” has a way of sending waves of anxiety over some people. Whether that’s due to stories of the procedure from older relatives or outdated information, the root canal isn’t the dental boogeyman it’s been made out to be. Modern dentistry is constantly advancing, and today’s root canal isn’t much worse than having a cavity filled. 

 

May 11th was National Root Canal Appreciation Day, and while root canals may never win a popularity contest, there’s nothing to fear about them. From what a root canal is and why you may need one to the actual procedure and recovery time, let’s lay out the facts on this often misunderstood dental procedure. 

 

What is a Root Canal?

 

Our teeth are held in our gums by roots and within these roots is a hollow tube or canal filled with tissue, blood vessels, and nerves (the pulp). This tissue can become infected and result in pain within the tooth or sensitivity to temperature. In the simplest terms, a root canal is a dental procedure to help clear out infection of the pulp within your teeth and protect the tooth from further damage. 

 

The goal of the root canal treatment is to remove this bacterial infection and allow for the preservation of healthy pulp within the tooth and root. 

 

When is a Root Canal Necessary?

 

Once the pulp is infected, the bacterial infection will likely spread through the tooth’s root canal system. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that can be remedied by just some vigorous brushing or extra swigs of mouthwash. Some people may not experience any symptoms of an infection, while others will feel pain while eating or sensitivity to hot or cold foods. Your dentist will recommend a root canal treatment to save the tooth from being pulled. 

 

What to Expect During the Root Canal

 

Your dental team will use anesthesia to help ensure the procedure is free of pain and discomfort. An x-ray will help determine the best place for a small hole to be drilled into the tooth, and your dentist or endodontist will clean out the bacteria from your tooth’s root canal. Once the infected area has been cleaned, some medication may be applied, and the hole is sealed up. 

 

What to Expect After a Root Canal

 

Having a root canal might not sound like a picnic, but you’ll likely leave the dental office feeling much better than when you came in. Most people who undergo a root canal feel relief from the pain of the infection almost immediately. While there may be some post-procedure discomfort, this is typically relieved with over-the-counter medications after a couple of days. Patients should brush and floss twice daily as normal after the procedure. They may want to rinse their mouth with warm salt water to further reduce further inflammation. 

 

While we don’t expect the root canal to have a parade thrown in its honor anytime soon, we hope that Root Canal Appreciation Day can dispel some of the unnecessary fear around this dental procedure. After all, in the end, it’s all about healthy teeth and gums!

 

Contact Kososki Dental for your local Plano, Texas dentistry needs!

 

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