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

More than 15 million root canals are performed every year, and they are extremely effective at stopping pain and saving teeth. However, many people live with pain for months before seeking help due to fears fueled by stories from past generations who had root canals when the procedure was still fairly primitive.   

The dental professionals at Pacific Coast Smiles in Santa Maria, California can perform a root canal procedure that will restore your tooth’s inner structure and get rid of infection. We promise, it’s not as scary as you might think; dental care has come a long way in the past few decades, and a root canal is now a routine treatment with a fast recovery and minimal pain. 

Inside your tooth

What does the inside of your tooth consist of? The outside of your tooth is made of enamel covering a hard tooth material called dentin, with long roots that go down into your jaw bone to anchor the tooth. Inside the roots is pulp, a soft tissue surrounding a nerve. During development, these helped your tooth grow to maturity. Once your tooth is fully formed, the pulp and nerve aren’t vital anymore. 

Before your root canal

Sometimes, the tooth pulp can get inflamed or infected, putting pressure on the nerve and causing intense pain. The pain can come in waves, feel like a pulse beating inside your tooth, or get worse when you bite down on something or eat or drink something hot or cold. 

Ignoring the pain or hoping it will just go away is pointless. Once begun, the infection will continue to spread, and could infect your gums as well. You could even end up losing your tooth. At the first sign of tooth pain, it’s time to call and make an appointment in our office.

During your root canal

A root canal simply opens the tooth up, cleans out the infected pulp, deadens the nerve, and fills the inside of your tooth with a sterile, hard material before covering the drilled-out area with a restoration like a dental crown. This procedure typically takes two visits. 

Your Wappingers Falls dentist begins by numbing the area around your tooth. Then we use a tiny drill to make a small access hole in the top of your tooth and clean out the infected roots. We use an antimicrobial wash to rinse your tooth out, then dry it and fill the roots with a sterile, rubber-like material.

You come back to our office to have your crown made and fitted to your tooth. This completes the procedure, and your newly restored tooth looks just like your other teeth. Your pain is gone, and you can enjoy eating again.

After your root canal

We prescribe pain medication for you, and you should only feel a small amount of discomfort for a few days. Some mild temperature or pressure sensitivity might linger for a few weeks before it, too, goes away. Overall, a root canal is now considered one of the less painful dental procedures in our office.

If you think you need a root canal, don't delay out of fear over the procedure. To learn more, call Pacific Smiles at (805) 250-3652 or request a consultation online


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