Root Canal Treatments And How To Prepare For Them

If you have been experiencing pain in one of your teeth, your dentist may have suggested a root canal procedure. Nevertheless, if you have never experienced this treatment, you may not know what to expect or how to prepare for it. As such, here's a bit of information to help you understand what a root canal procedure is and what you can do to get ready for it.

What Are Root Canals?

A tooth has multiple layers. Unlike the enamel layer, the layer in the center of the tooth (which is called the pulp), is made up of soft, living tissue. The pulp includes connective tissue, dental nerves, and the tooth's blood supply. In addition, the interior structure of your tooth contains channels, which are called "root canals." These canals are where the pulp is located.

Why Is Root Canal Therapy Performed?

If bacteria invade the pulp through a breach in the tooth material from a cavity or other dental trauma, the pulp may develop an infection. The infection can inflame the dental nerves, causing intense pain. Additionally, the infection can enter the bloodstream and spread to other areas of the body. In order to eliminate the pain and the infection, the dentist performs a root canal procedure.

What Happens During a Root Canal Procedure?

During the treatment, the dentist applies a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth. After the area has become numb, the dental provider drills a small hole into the tooth and extracts the pulp. Next, the dentist measures the root canals before cleaning and disinfecting them. Once the interior of the tooth is properly cleaned, the tooth is filled and then covered with a dental crown.

How Can You Prepare for Your Root Canal Treatment?

Here are a few measures that you can take to prepare for your treatment:

  • Discuss your medications with your dentist. Talk to your dental provider about any medicines that you are currently taking and what medications may be needed following your procedure. if your dentist prescribes an antibiotic for use after your surgery, you may want to pick it up beforehand. Additionally, you may want to have an over-the-counter pain reliever on hand.
  • Purchase soft foods to eat after the procedure. Your teeth may be a bit sensitive on the day of your root canal treatment.
  • Don't drink any alcohol the day before your procedure.
  • Avoid tobacco use the day before your procedure.

 For more information about root canal treatments, contact a dentist.