What is a Root Canal?
One of the most common dental procedures is the root canal. Over 14 million root canals are performed every year. Our practice is no exception as our doctors provide root canals to many patients here in our Newton dental office. So what is a root canal exactly? The center of your tooth is full of pulp, which extends down into the one or more roots of the tooth. When a tooth is cracked, decayed, or broken, bacteria can reach the pulp and cause it to become infected. The area around the tooth may become very swollen and painful, with temperature and pressure sensitivity as well. A root canal opens the tooth, cleans out the infected pulp, and fills the root with a material that seals it and prevents bacteria from reentering. A crown is then placed to cover the entry point, and the tooth is restored.
After Your Appointment
We use local anesthesia to eliminate discomfort during the procedure, and will also provide nitrous oxide (laughing gas) if requested. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine the same day.
Anytime local anesthesia is used, the lips, tongue, and cheeks may be numb for several hours. Refrain from hot beverages and chewing until the numbness wears off. If there is any cold or heat or pressure sensitivity, don't be alarmed — this should wear off soon after the final restoration is placed.
If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain or swelling, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office.