You've likely heard of root canals before, and if you have never had one, it can feel daunting. Consider a root canal as a more extensive cavity filling because that's basically what it is. What makes a root canal different from getting a cavity filled is that a root canal digs out more affected tissue and often requires a crown or cap to be placed on the remaining tooth to protect it. In contrast, a filling is just a small dental procedure that can be done without pain treatment in some cases.
When you need a root canal, don't be afraid. Realize you are doing what is best for your oral health and that you are helping to preserve your whole tooth in the end. Without a root canal, your mouth is at risk of having a serious infection or becoming an abscessed tooth and you can even lose your tooth.
Do you need a root canal? If so, how do you prepare for getting one? Use this guide to help you out.
You have a deep cavity
A root canal may be necessary if you have a deep cavity that goes into the deep tissue of your tooth and nearly into the root. If the root gets affected, the tooth can die, so you'll either have to get a root canal or have the tooth pulled.
You have a damaged tooth
A damaged tooth can have tissue damage that can lead to tooth death or the need for a root canal. If your damaged tooth can be salvaged but requires a root canal to do so, your dentist will let you know.
Preparing for a root canal
Prepare for a root canal by following all dentist's instructions, including taking antibiotics up to and after your root canal appointment. Here are a few other things you can do.
Take time off work, school, or other activities
Stress and worry can make healing after a root canal tougher. Arrange to take the day off the day of your appointment so you can relax and heal better.
Take over-the-counter medication before your treatment
Your dentist will give you pain medication and local anesthesia as part of your root canal treatment. You may also be allowed to take mild over-the-counter medication before your appointment to manage pain and swelling on your own.
Take the first appointment of the day
The sooner you get your root canal done, the better. Arrange to take the first appointment of the day, if you can, so you can spend the rest of the day recovering.
Keep these tips in mind when looking to get a root canal from a local clinic.