Dental Tips Blog


Root Canals Don’t Have to Hurt…Really

Posted in Root Canals

Root canals have a bad reputation for being one of the most miserable dental procedures known to man. If you’ve told someone that you’re going to have a root canal done, chances are you’ve had another person tell you what a horrible experience they’ve had. Believe it or not, root canals don’t have to be that way. The truth is, root canals can be just like any other type of dental procedure when performed the right way.

Before your root canal is started, your dentist will numb the area of your mouth with local anesthetic. Just like a filling, anesthetic prevents you from being able to feel your dentist working on the tooth. Most likely you’ll also be given laughing gas (nitrous oxide) to help you relax even further. If you have an increased fear of dental treatment, it might even be possible for your dentist to offer some form of deeper sedation.

Keeping your mouth open for an extended period of time usually causes the greatest discomfort during root canal treatment. Some teeth have more roots than others, which makes the procedure last longer. Front teeth have one root and back teeth have either 2 or 3 roots. To minimize strain on your jaws, your dentist can offer you a rubber bite block to rest your teeth on, relaxing your jaw muscles. Especially complicated root canals may be performed by a specialist, which allows them to be completed even quicker.

You can expect your root canal to be just like any other type of dental procedure – be it a filling, crown, or even a bridge. Your dentist will focus on your comfort level first and foremost, before ever even starting your treatment! But one thing is for sure – putting your root canal off too long will hurt your smile (and your wallet!)

Posted on behalf of:
Springfield Lorton Dental Group
5419-C Backlick Rd
Springfield, VA 22151
(703) 256-8554


What Happens During a Root Canal

Posted in Root Canals

A root canal is a very common dental procedure performed to save a badly decayed or infected tooth.  Root canal therapy removes the pulp and nerves in the tooth, which are damaged, infected or inflamed due to severe decay.  In most cases the procedure is done under a local anesthetic, however patients with anxiety over the procedure or the dentist may be candidates for sedation dentistry, where they will be semi-conscience during the procedure.  In most cases two or more dentist visits are required depending upon the presence of an infection.

On the day of the procedure, the dentist will numb the area or administer sedation, in order to make the procedure as comfortable and pain free as possible.  A hole is then drilled into the tooth and a series of root canal files are inserted into the hole to remove the pulp and other materials.  The dentist will start with small diameter files and gradually increase the size of the file until all of the material in the tooth is removed.  Next the interior of the tooth will be cleaned and dried; however if there is an infection in the tooth, the dentist may place medicine in the tooth.

The next step is to seal the top of the tooth using either a temporary or permanent filing.  In many cases, root canals are done in conjunction with crowns, which are used to protect the tooth from further damage.  If a crown is required, additional dentist visits may be required.  Once the root canal is completed and the tooth protected, there is no reason not to expect the tooth to be worry free for years to come!

Posted on behalf of Mockingbird Dental


What Happens During a Root Canal?

Posted in Root Canals

Root canals are very routine dental procedures that simply require a limited, additional amount of time due to their complexity involving the nerve of the tooth. The treatments are necessary when a tooth has been severely damaged, or had decay reach far enough into the tooth until it comes into proximity with the nerve.

When you first arrive for a root canal procedure, you’ll be anesthetized the same way you would be for a filling. Some people also request nitrous oxide to help them relax. Once the area is completely numb, your dentist will begin removing any enamel that has decay, the same as if you were just having a filling. After the preparation has extended into the nerve chamber, the damaged nerve tissue will be removed from inside of the canal. The canals of the roots will then be thoroughly cleaned in order to prevent a recurrent infection. An x-ray may be taken to determine when the very end of the root canal has been met by the dentist’s equipment. Because teeth have anywhere from 1 to 3 roots on average, root canals can vary in length. Curves or bends in the roots may make some treatments more tedious and require additional treatment time.

After the nerve is removed, a filling material is placed into the nerve canal and chamber of the tooth, to seal it off completely. The crown of the tooth is then prepared and an impression is taken so that a permanent crown can be made for the tooth. Putting a crown over the tooth helps protect the integrity of the enamel, because the tooth is no longer living, and it can become brittle.

Other than some discomfort from opening or your injection site, root canal treatments are typically just as comfortable as other types of treatment. Let your dentist know what needs you may have during your treatment so that you can remain as comfortable as possible.

Posted on behalf of Randy Muccioli


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