Root Canal 101: All your Important Questions Answered


Many patients have an inherent fear of dental procedures, especially root canal treatment. The dentist may recommend a root canal procedure when a tooth is infected. In simple words, the procedure involves the removal of infected pulp from the infected tooth, cleaning the canal, and filling it with a special material. The final step is to fix a permanent crown. Numerous clinics offer root canals in Houston, but before you step in, here’s what you should know. 

What are the evident signs of a tooth infection?

Some patients have no signs of tooth infections. During a regular dental exam, your dentist may discover the infection and recommend a root canal treatment. In other cases, patients have signs and symptoms like severe pain, swelling in the gums, and sudden and increasing sensitivity in the infected tooth. 

What is the procedure like?

The first step is an oral exam to determine the possible signs of infection. Your dentist may order an X-ray of the infected tooth to understand the extent of the damage. If you agree to the treatment, your dentist will use a local anesthetic agent and treat the tooth. The first step is to remove the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. The dentist will then clean the canal using an antibacterial wash and fill it with a special material called the gutta-percha. Your dentist may initially use a temporary filling, and when you come back for the second or third appointment, they will fill the canal permanently and fix a crown. 

Who performs a root canal treatment?

Both dentists and endodontists can do root canal procedures. Many clinics have endodontists to do the procedure if the dentist recommends so.

Does the procedure hurt?

Since root canal treatment is done under local anesthesia, there is usually no pain. Patients may have anxiety or discomfort, which is temporary. After the procedure is done, the dentist may recommend painkillers to deal with any pain or swelling. 

What is recovery like?

Since local anesthesia is used for the treatment, your mouth will be numb for the next few hours. However, there is rarely any downtime, and you can get back to your routine and work as usual. As we mentioned, over-the-counter pain medications can help deal with the tenderness right after. Follow your dentist’s instructions and continue to practice good oral care routines. 

Contrary to what many people assume, root canal treatment doesn’t have to be painful or unbearable. You may, however, need more appointments if the infection is severe.

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