DO YOU HAVE root canal therapy coming up? Particularly if this is your first time coming to an endodontist, we want to make sure you feel confident that your experience with us will be a good one. Let’s just go over some good general information and a quick checklist of things to do before you come in for your appointment.
Why Were You Recommended for Endodontic Treatment?
Endodontic treatment (root canal therapy) is a procedure designed to preserve a tooth that has become infected so that it doesn’t have to be extracted. Here are a few of the main reasons a tooth might need the attention of an endodontist:
- A faulty crown
- Complications from repeated dental treatment on the tooth
- Decay that reaches the pulp chamber
- Tooth injury that damaged the pulp
- A crack or chip that reaches the pulp
Now let’s go through a list of things to do before your appointment. We might already have discussed these with you, but you can’t have too many reminders! Doing these things will help make the day of the appointment go smoothly and be more stress-free.
- Get plenty of rest the night before.
- Eat regular meals, unless you’ll be having I.V. sedation. (Don’t hesitate to call us to double-check if you aren’t sure.)
- Be prepared with your insurance information when you arrive.
- Bring any X-rays you have from your general dentist.
- Take a basic over-the-counter pain reliever to help ease any toothache you’re experiencing prior to the procedure and to help with soreness and discomfort afterwards.
- Try to relax. We know that many people struggle with dental phobia, but remember that root canal therapy doesn’t cause pain, it relieves it! Just imagine how much better that tooth will feel soon.
The Root Canal Treatment
Now for a little more about what you can expect from your experience at our practice. Root canal treatment will usually take longer than a typical dental exam, and the patient is seated with their mouth open during that time. It isn’t the most comfortable position, but it is necessary for the endodontist to work. A local anesthetic will numb the area around the infected tooth, which we will isolate with a dental dam. The dental dam keeps it from being contaminated by bacteria from the rest of the mouth.
The endodontist will then drill a small access hole through the tooth’s chewing surface and remove the diseased or necrotic pulp tissue. Then comes the process of disinfecting, shaping, filling, washing, and sealing the canals in the roots and filling the access hole with either temporary or permanent filling material. Finally, the temporary filling or crown is placed, and thanks to the local anesthetic, it’s all pain-free!
Still Have Questions? Just Ask Them!
We want our patients to have the tools they need to feel confident and relaxed about their upcoming procedures. Endodontics is all about saving teeth and ensuring patient comfort, so make sure to ask us any questions you still have.