If you have a severely decayed tooth, getting a root canal might just save that tooth from being extracted. A root canal is a procedure to remove any decay and diseased tissue from the inside of your tooth.
If you are scheduled to get a root canal, you might be fretting about it. This is normal; popular culture often makes root canals seem like a rather frightful experience. In reality, it doesn’t have to be.
For a root canal to be successful, it requires two essential components: a skilled and patient endodontist and proper preparation for your procedure.
An endodontist is a dentist who has received extra years of training to treat dental pulp injuries and diseases in dental school.
At LivWell Dentistry in San Francisco and San Ramon, California. Dr. Wenli Loo and Dr. Steve Deng offer comprehensive and expert dental services, including root canals. They share more than 20 years of experience between them and, with that, several successful root canals.
By the end of this post, we will have allayed your biggest fears about getting a root canal done. Read on to learn more.
What is a root canal?
A root canal is a procedure to save an infected tooth from extraction. The process involves cleaning out the diseased and infected pulp from the tooth. The tooth is then thoroughly disinfected before a filling is placed to seal the tooth up.
Preparation for your upcoming root canal
In your first appointment with us, we’ll provide a detailed plan for you to prepare for your root canal. Here are a few of the things you’ll be required to do:
- No smoking in the week leading up to your root canal
- If we prescribe any medication, such as antibiotics in your first appointment, take them dutifully before your root canal
- Eating a nutritious meal a few hours before your procedure
What to expect during the procedure
Depending on the severity of your tooth decay, your root canal may require one or multiple appointments. The duration of each session will typically take between 30-60 minutes. If it involves a large tooth, it may take up to 90 minutes.
Before the procedure, we’ll take X-rays of the tooth to determine the extent of the decay. During the procedure, we’ll begin with administering local anesthesia to numb the tooth and the surrounding areas.
Next, we’ll drill a small hole into your tooth to access the pulp. Though you might feel some pressure, you won’t feel any pain because of the local anesthesia.
Your endodontist will remove the infected pulp, and clean, disinfect, and shape the canals. After this, we’ll place a dental filling over the tooth to seal it.
To protect the tooth, prevent damage, and restore full function to that tooth, it’s crucial to get a crown after your root canal has been done.
What to expect after a root canal
After the local anesthesia, it’s typical to feel mild discomfort and sensitivity in your tooth and the surrounding area. For that, we’ll give you some over-the-counter painkillers. In a few days, your tooth will feel as good as new.
If you had pain and sensitivity before your root canal, you can expect to feel some relief after the decayed pulp has been removed from your tooth.
Schedule your upcoming root canal with us here at LivWell Dentistry, where you can be rest assured that you are in the most experienced hands. If you’re ready to make an appointment for a root canal, please call us at 415-477-3700, or schedule on our website.