If there’s one procedure that most people dread, it’s root canal work.
But there’s no need to feel daunted when you’re in the hands of a good dentist.
In this post, we explain how to deal with root canal anxiety and what to expect from the procedure.
What is root canal work?
A root canal procedure is a way to save your tooth when you have an infection or injury in the soft inner part of the tooth, the pulp.
By removing the affected pulp, you can save the part of the tooth that you can see (the crown) that sits above the gum.
Why do people need root canal work?
You might need root canal work because:
- Your tooth has significantly decayed because a cavity hasn’t been treated.
- You have had a lot of procedures on the same tooth.
- There’s a crack or chip in the tooth.
- Your tooth has been injured, even if there’s no crack or chip.
What’s root canal like?
The first step in your root canal procedure is to have numbing medication applied to your gums. Then your dentist will inject local anaesthetic into your gums.
Once your tooth is numb and you can’t feel any pain, your dentist will open up the top of your tooth. They will then remove the infected or damaged pulp and clean your tooth.
After the pulp has been taken away, your dentist will apply an antibiotic to the area to get rid of any traces of infection. Next, they will fill and seal the inside of your tooth. The opening at the top will be filled with a temporary material.
You may be prescribed a course of oral antibiotics to take after the procedure.
You will need to go back and see your dentist a few days later. They will check to see that there is no infection and replace the temporary filling with a permanent one.
Your dentist may offer you the option of a crown instead of a filling in the tooth for a natural and attractive appearance.
You’ll need to take care of your restored tooth just like you would any other tooth. So don’t skimp on the brushing, flossing and mouthwash — and, of course, regular check-ups to ensure that your teeth, gums and mouth are healthy.
How to manage root canal anxiety
It’s completely natural to feel anxiety before root canal work, but now that you know what to expect, this should take away the fear. However, if you still have questions, feel free to ask your dentist, who will be happy to help.
If you feel nervous on the day, get a trusted friend or family member to take you to the appointment.
And tell your dentist if you are feeling anxious so they will do their utmost to put you at ease.
A positive step forward
Remember that root canal work is a positive step forward. It can save your tooth, prevent more serious work, stop pain and discomfort and help restore your ability to speak, eat and chew properly.
If you are suffering from tooth pain and think you might need root canal work, contact the team at Opal Dental, your local dentist in Auckland. We’re here to provide caring solutions to dental problems, so don’t be afraid to make that call!