one procedure that many people dread hearing that they need is a root canal. Root canals have a certain reputation for causing discomfort. This is mainly because when root canals first starting being done, they could often lead to a lot discomfort both during and after the procedure. But root canal procedures have come a long way in the past few decades. In this article we will cover what a root canal procedure involves, while you might need them, and what to expect during and after the procedure. If you need to see a dentist in Maine, please contact us to set up an appointment.

What Is A Root Canal

One of the most common ways our teeth get damaged is by bacteria. Bacteria can begin eating at the outermost layers of our teeth. When decay passes the dentin (inside the enamel), this will lead to a cavity. A cavity is usually drilled to remove any bacteria and decay and then filled. But if the decay is in the tooth root, either because the cavity spread or because the decay started in the root, you will need a root canal. In the old days, if you had decay in the root or below the gums, the only option was to remove the tooth and prevent the decay from spreading to the neighboring teeth. But when root canal procedures were invented it provided a way to save the tooth. The decay is removed from the tooth root and the root is filled similar to how a cavity is filled. 

What Happens During A Procedure

The root canal procedure is usually done in about 30 minutes to an hour. However, in some complex cases, there are instances when a root canal can take 90 minutes. To perform a root canal, first x-rays are taken so that your dentist can see exactly where the issue is. Your mouth will be numbed the same way that it would be for a filling or wisdom tooth removal. A small hole is made at the top of the tooth that allows the dentist to go into your tooth root. The decay is removed and the hole and root are filled. 

Is A Root Canal Painful?

During the procedure, you will likely not feel any pain. You may feel pressure similar to the pressure you would feel in other dental procedures like fillings or extraction. But because of the anesthesia used by your dentist, you will likely not feel any problems. Many people do feel pain and even severe pain prior to having the procedure, in fact, toothaches are often signs of infection in the tooth root. After the procedure there may be some soreness. It is normal to feel slight pain or discomfort for a few days after the procedure, and this pain can be managed with over the counter medicine. However, if pain lasts longer than a week or the pain is very severe you should call your dentist.

Restorative Dental Office in Lisbon

If you are interested in learning more about dental procedures like root canals we would be happy to discuss your options at an appointment at our office in Lisbon.