Answering 4 Common Questions About Root Canals

Root canal treatment is often known colloquially as a root canal. Root canal treatment allows dentists to save teeth that have suffered internal decay. During treatment, your dentist will use a drill to open the affected tooth. They will remove the pulp from your tooth, fill the gaps with a firm, body-safe material, and protect the treated tooth with a crown. Many patients have misgivings about root canals due to things they have heard. Here are some common questions about the procedure answered:

1. Can your regular dentist perform a root canal?

Many people see the same dentist for years. The relationship between a dentist and their patients can be an important one full of trust and understanding. Naturally, many people wonder if their regular dentists can perform their root canal treatment.

Some general dentists perform root canals in their offices. Other dentists prefer to refer patients to specialists known as endodontists for root canal therapy. You can discuss your options with your dentist. You may have some say in the matter if you strongly prefer one option over another.

2. Will the treatment hurt?

Everyone wants to know if their dental treatment will hurt. Root canals may have been painful in the past when dental treatments were less advanced, but in modern times, root canals don't have to hurt at all. Your dentist will diligently numb the nerves in your tooth and in the surrounding gum tissue. By the time they start drilling, all you will feel is the sensation of pressure. Root canals are no more painful than any other cavity filling, despite the fact that root canal treatment is more invasive.

3. How will you feel after your root canal?

After your root canal, you will be able to drive yourself home. Root canals are performed using local anesthesia, which does not cause grogginess or mental impairment. Once the anesthesia wears off, your mouth may feel a little sore for a couple of days. Taking ibuprofen can minimize soreness until your mouth fully heals. Drinking cold beverages and enjoying soft foods like smoothies can reduce any pain experienced while chewing.

4. Will you have to go back to the dentist after a root canal?

Root canal treatment can take a couple of hours. Once the procedure is over, patients will need to return to the dentist to have a crown put on the treated tooth. A dental crown will protect the tooth for years to come as patients use their teeth to bite, chew, and speak.