Our teeth are strong but sensitive. Too often, they go unchecked, causing a whole mess of oral problems leading to cavities or requiring a root canal. A root canal is a necessary procedure when the pulp, or center of the tooth, becomes inflamed or infected. This usually occurs when tooth decay goes unchecked, causes a cavity, and eventually results in a painful infection. While it’s best to prevent this from happening altogether, root canals are a very common treatment. Here are some things to expect before getting your first root canal in Beverly Hills.
What’s Happening in There?
A root canal gets rid of all the infected pulp within your tooth. To do this, your dentist or periodontist must drill into your tooth to get to the heart of the matter, clean it out, shape it, and then fill it back in. Think of it as a cleanse for your tooth! In many cases, a filling and seal will be enough to heal the infection. Sometimes an infected tooth also requires a crown to help you eat comfortably.
A root canal in Beverly Hills can typically take up to an hour or two, meaning you may experience some discomfort sitting in a dentist chair for that long with your mouth open. Your dentist or periodontist will use local anesthesia during the procedure. This numbs the area of surgery so that you feel no pain on the tooth, the surrounding teeth, or gums. Sometimes the anesthesia is applied with a needle and other times a gel-like substance is used.
Once the tooth has been opened, your dentist may use a dam-like tool to prevent contamination from occurring onto other teeth, gums, or down the throat. To get into the tooth, your dentist will use a drill to remove the infected pulp of the tooth. In its place, your dentist will add the appropriate filling.
In the case that you need a crown, an impression of your tooth will be made and sent to a lab to create a matching crown. While that happens, your dentist may give you a temporary crown until the one unique to your tooth is finished.
After the procedure, the affected area may remain numb for a few hours. During this time it’s best not to try to eat anything. You may end up chomping on a piece of your lip unknowingly due to the numbness. When the anesthesia finally wears off, you may feel some slight pain or sensitivity which is completely normal. Your dentist or periodontist will likely prescribe some pain medication that you can take over the next few days. You may also want to keep your head elevated while you sleep to alleviate some pressure.
Of course, you should practice good dental hygiene at this time as well as treating the area of the procedure with delicacy. You may want to switch over to a mostly liquid diet or eat only soft foods for the first few days until it is fully healed.
If anything seems abnormal, such as excessive swelling, a rash, fever, or itching, be sure to notify your dentist right away.
Unfortunately a root canal does not promise a “clean” tooth exactly — instead, it just removes as much of the infection as it can and tries to prevent more bacteria from occurring. The seal is never actually guaranteed to completely close off everything because there are other canals running off the main canal that may become infected. However, there is a very small chance of this occurring, making root canals highly effective. If you are concerned about the infection, you may also want to look into getting an implant. At the end of the day, your dentist will able to discuss what the best option is for you and your tooth.
Root Canal in Beverly Hills
If you’re wondering who to turn to, look no further than Dr. Rannan, one of Beverly Hills top periodontists. Visit his website or call to schedule a consultation today.