In order to save a tooth that has sustained severe decay and infection, a root canal is the only option. Misconceptions about the root canal procedure being very painful, but the end goal is to actually relieve the pain experienced from an infected tooth that is essentially dying.
Our Chestnut Hill patients can attest to our highly skilled, state-of-the-art facility, and advanced technology that allow us to perform comfortable and easy root canals for our patients.
The first step in a root canal procedure is having some x-rays taken. These allow your dentist to clearly see the shape of the root of the pulp inside your tooth. This also helps to determine if there is an infection in the bone surrounding the area.
A local anesthetic injection will be given to numb the entire area that will be worked on so that you don’t feel a thing aside from some pressure. Sedation helps patients feel more at ease and relaxed for the procedure.
Next, your dentist will put a dental dam in place to protect the area from the natural bacteria that live inside the mouth and to also keep it dry.
In order to access the inside of the tooth and the affected pulp, your dentist will drill a small hole in the tooth. With small, specialized instruments called root canal files, your dentist will carefully remove the dying nerves and infected tissue from within.
After everything has been removed from the inside of the tooth, it will be sealed. However, if there was a severe infection, some medication may be placed inside to combat it. Depending on the circumstances, the permanent filling will be done during the root canal procedure, or your dentist may choose to use a temporary filling to protect the area until it’s ready for a permanent crown or cap.
The surrounding tissue may become inflamed after the root canal procedure and this is completely normal. Pain medication will be prescribed to manage the discomfort.
If you’re waiting for a permanent crown, it’s important to take it easy on the treated tooth. Avoid chewing on that side of the mouth.
You should resume normal oral hygiene habits by brushing at least twice per day and continually flossing.