What to Expect Before, During and After Root Canal Treatment?

In the past, people with tooth problems often resort to extraction to end the pain. Now, there is this root canal treatment that is gaining popularity in dental care facilities and clinics. This article focuses on what to do before, during and after the root canal treatment.

Tooth Cross Section

Tooth Cross Section

Definition of Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment is a dental procedure designed to treat tooth pain and tooth decay. Root canal works by removing the pulp of the tooth and then, filled the cavity with a restorative material. When pulp is removed, pain is eliminated and spreading of infection to other teeth is prevented.

Root canal treatment is treated by a dentist or endodontist, a doctor who specializes in root canal.

Before Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment can happen on the day or days after the first dental visit. Yet, it is suggested by most doctors to visit the clinic prior to the actual procedure so that the patient would know what to expect about the treatment and whenever there are special instructions.

Generally, there are no special instructions prior to root canal treatment except for cases when infection is already present. In this case, the patient has to take antibiotics before the procedure. It should be mentioned likewise that patients should avoid alcohol or smoking at least 12 hours as they impede wound healing. Similarly, blood thinners should not be taken before and during the treatment. Some doctors recommend patients to take pain killers before root canal treatment.

During Root Canal Treatment

The Process of Root Canal Treatment

The Process of Root Canal Treatment (Source: www.burkedentalcenter.com)

Root canal treatment commences with the administration of local anesthesia. This is because the treatment itself is painful not to mention in deeply decayed tooth. Topical anesthesia (in the form of gel) is applied followed by injectible. For younger patients, nitrous oxide gas is used as an alternative of injectible anesthesia. The purpose of anesthesia is to numb the teeth, gums and tongue, so the pain can never be felt throughout the process.

The dentist begins the root canal treatment by drilling the tooth. Afterwards, the dentist uses metal files to remove the pulp completely. The dentist will culminate the procedure by covering the drilled tooth with temporary filling. Note: Root canal treatment involves multiple visits to the dentist.

When final filling is placed, the dentist may suggest crown placing. The purpose of the crown is to protect the tooth, and that it does not break easily. The dentist will take an impression of the tooth that matches the patient’s original tooth color. This will be sent to laboratory and the next appointment will be set.

After Root Canal Treatment

The numbness of anesthesia wears off two to three hours following the start of the procedure. Pain is expected after the treatment and it is considered a normal process of the root canal treatment. In some cases, the pain is so severe that the patient might think the procedure was not performed well. Again, the pain is normal and is expected to last for two days. Meanwhile, individuals who had infected tooth are advised to continue taking antibiotics.

Another reminder after root canal treatment is that the crown sealed at the top of the tooth may loose over time and therefore, need to be cemented on gain.

What happens when the pain persists? This may indicate that the tooth is still infected. In the event, the pain continues, the dentist might reopen the tooth and retreat it to avoiding the neighboring teeth to get infected. If pain is not relieved after root canal retreatment, the tooth may need to be removed.