A root canal is a dental procedure that is needed when the pulp of the tooth is infected with bacteria. The pulp may become inflamed or damaged, which allows the bacteria to grow and multiply. Infected tooth pulp can lead to more serious dental issues, including abscesses. A root canal treatment helps to remove the pulp, getting rid of the infection. If you’ve never had one before, you may be unsure of what to expect. Here’s a general guide of what you will experience during and after this procedure.
The Length of Time the Procedure Takes
There are many misconceptions about root canals, including how long they take. According to the Cleveland Clinic, a root canal generally takes about 30 to 60 minutes to complete. More complex cases may take up to 90 minutes. If you need multiple treatments, a dentist may perform two root canals on the same day.
What You May Feel
Another misconception about a root canal treatment is that it will be painful. Your dental professional will use anesthesia or numbing creams to ensure you don’t feel any pain during the treatment. Most patients do state that they feel some pressure as the canal is cleaned and cleared of the infection.
What to Expect After the Procedure
As the numbing creams and anesthesia wear off, you may start to feel some pain. Your dentist will likely prescribe you pain medication and antibiotics. Be sure to take both medications as prescribed. You may experience a small bit of swelling after the procedure as well. Most patients prefer to eat soft or liquid foods, such as smoothies or soups, until their pain level decreases.
Why Two Visits Are Needed for a Root Canal Treatment
After the infected pulp is removed from the canal, the area may be inflamed due to the infection and the treatment. As such, a temporary filling or crown is placed. Your dentist will schedule an appointment with you a few weeks out to place the permanent filling or crown. This allows the swelling to subside.
A root canal treatment has a reputation for being a painful treatment, and as such, many people are scared or nervous if a dentist says one is needed. Fortunately, there are many different types of anesthesia that can be used, helping to ensure you don’t feel any pain during the procedure. If you’re in need of a root canal, call us today to schedule an appointment.