At some point in their lives, many dental patients need a root canal. Some patients have several root canals throughout their lives. Others just have one root canal, and some patients don’t ever need one. If you are facing your first root canal, you may have some questions about the procedure. So that you are well informed, we’ve put together some basic information for you.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a filling that goes into the root of your tooth. Small cavities are usually just in the upper part of your tooth above the gum line, but root canals are a treatment for cavities that go deep into the root. That’s really the only difference between a regular filling and a root canal.
What Is the Process for a Root Canal?
When you need a root canal, the dentist removes the decay from your tooth and roots. Then, the dentist fills the empty space with a filling material. Composite resin or porcelain fillings are the most common, and they blend with the rest of your teeth. However, some patients still opt for gold or silver amalgam. For many patients, that’s the end of the process, but others may need a crown.
How Are Crowns Related to Root Canals?
If the exterior enamel of your tooth is severely chipped or decayed, you may need a crown. Also called a cap, a crown is a fake hollow tooth that fits over your existing tooth. It looks just like the rest of your teeth. No one will be able to tell that it’s different.
At the beginning, you may be able to tell the difference between that crown and the rest of your teeth when you touch it with your tongue, but after a while, it may even become hard for you to tell the difference. If you need a crown, the dentist fills the cavity as described above. Then, he or she makes a mold or uses 3D technology to create the crown. Finally, the crown is cemented over your tooth.
How Do You Prepare for a Root Canal?
First, determine if you need a root canal by scheduling a consultation with a dentist. They can let you know if you only need a small filling, if you need a full root canal, or if you should consider extracting the tooth. If you need a root canal, decide what type of pain relief you need.
Local anesthetic works perfectly for many patients. Other patients prefer to be a bit more relaxed, and they opt for oral sedation or even intravenous sedation. Still other patients like to put on the “laughing gas” or nitrous oxide to help them relax. Note that if you opt for sedation, you have to arrange a ride home, and with intravenous sedation, you may need to fast before the procedure.
If you need a root canal or if you’re having oral pain, contact Walton Dentistry today. We are a cosmetic dentist located in Loganville, GA, and we offer a range of services including dentures, crowns, veneers, root canal therapy, and more.