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Show Your Teeth Some Respect

Think about how many times per day you rely on your teeth. You use them to chew breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. You press your tongue against them to make certain sounds when you speak. There's really no doubt about it — your teeth are important, and they deserve your respect. You can pay them that respect by visiting your dentist for regular cleaning and checkup appointments. You should also call at the first sign of dental pain, tooth discoloration, or other oral health changes. Read more about dentists and dentistry here on this blog, where we dive deep into related topics.


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Show Your Teeth Some Respect

Root Canals: Everything You Need to Know

by April Myers

If you have ever gone to the dentist and were told that you need a root canal, you might have had numerous thoughts and questions running through your mind. What is a root canal? Is it painful? Is it necessary? How will it help you?

In this blog post, we will dive into everything you need to know about root canals, from what it is, who needs it, how it is done, what to expect during and after the procedure, and more.

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a dental procedure that aims to remove damaged or infected tissues from inside the tooth. This can happen when the pulp, which is the soft tissue inside the tooth where the nerves and blood vessels are located, gets damaged. This can be a result of untreated decay, cracks or chips in the tooth, repeated dental procedures, or other injuries. A root canal is needed to save a badly infected or decayed tooth from extraction. 

Who Needs a Root Canal?

Anyone who has an infected or decayed tooth may need a root canal. The signs of an infected tooth include severe toothache, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, gum swelling and tenderness, and tooth discoloration. However, not all cases of tooth decay require a root canal. Your dentist will examine your tooth and recommend the best course of treatment.

How is a Root Canal Done?

A root canal is done by removing the infected or damaged pulp inside the tooth. Your dentist will numb the area around the tooth and then create a tiny hole in the top of the tooth to access the pulp. The pulp is removed using small files, and then the tooth is cleaned and disinfected. Once the pulp is removed, the tooth is filled with a soft material and then sealed with a temporary filling. The tooth will then need to be restored with a permanent filling or crown.

What to Expect During and After a Root Canal?

A root canal is usually done in a couple of appointments, depending on the extent of the damage. The procedure itself is painless and feels similar to a regular filling. You may experience some mild discomfort after the procedure, but this can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. It's better to avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the root canal was done until your tooth is fully healed. You should also follow your dentist's instructions for proper oral care to prevent further infection or decay.

To learn more about root canals, reach out to a local dental clinic.