ORANGE CITY AND DELTONA, FL
You’re experiencing a strange pain in your tooth, and your dentist breaks the news … you need a root canal. This procedure carries a stigma of being invasive and painful, but advances in dental science have made root canals more convenient and comfortable than ever. Terry Soule, DDS, wants to make you aware of everything you should know before receiving a root canal in Orange City.
Get the Facts on Root Canals
A root canal treats, removes, and cleans an infection during the dental pulp—the term for the soft interior structure of the tooth. This area includes the root and nerves. Dr. Soule usually opts for a root canal if there is no other way to save the tooth. A root canal is preferable to an extraction because you avoid all the health consequences associated with losing a permanent tooth.
The Steps of a Root Canal
Step 1: Preparation
There are a few things you need to do before your root canal. In the days leading up to the procedure, you want to make sure you’re eating a healthy diet with plenty of nutrients, while taking your vitamins and any antibiotics your Orange City dentist may have prescribed. You also want to be sure you get plenty of sleep the night before the root canal. Know going into the appointment that a root canal takes time—at least an hour or two. You might want to bring some music or an audiobook to listen to during the procedure. You also should gather some ice packs and over-the-counter pain medication to manage the swelling or discomfort after the root canal.
Step 2: The Root Canal
Now it’s time for the root canal itself. First, you’ll receive a local anesthetic, which is injected into the area surrounding the tooth being treated. If you feel any sensation in that area after the medicine takes effect, you may need additional numbing.
Next, your dentist applies the dental dam. This is a piece of rubber that goes around the perimeter of the infected tooth. The dam keeps the tooth clean and dry during the root canal, while also safeguarding you against accidentally swallowing any of the infected material.
Dr. Soule drills a hole into the surface of the tooth, exposing the area of infection. The amount of drilling depends on the size of the infection and where it’s located within your tooth. We use X-rays as a guide during this portion of the procedure to make sure the drilling is accurate.
Once drilling is complete, your dentist in Orange City uses tools and suction to remove all the infected material from inside your tooth. After the infection is removed, Dr. Soule shapes the interior of your tooth, which may require a little more drilling or the use of a small file. A rubbery material fills the canals of the tooth.
Dr. Soule completes the root canal by replacing the exterior of the tooth with a new dental crown. You’ll receive a temporary restoration the same day of the root canal, then come back about two weeks later for your permanent crown. The purpose of the crown is to add stability and protection after the root canal. Without it, the tooth would likely not survive.
Step 3: After Care
Your Orange City general dentist has these tips to help you following your root canal:
- Take any medicine you’ve been prescribed, including antibiotics and/or pain relievers
- Make sure to keep the treated tooth clean by brushing and flossing daily
- Use ice to help manage discomfort and swelling
- Take it easy for the first few days after your root canal, giving your body time to rest and recover
- Return for any scheduled follow-up appointment
Root Canals in Orange City
If you need a root canal, you want to make sure that you choose a dentist you trust, so that you’re satisfied with the final results. It’s a good thing then that our motto at Terry Soule, DDS, is “Trust Us With Your Smile.” If you think you need a root canal or another medical professional has recommended this procedure, call (386) 775-1552 to schedule a consultation if you’re living in the areas of DeBary, Deltona, and Orange City, FL.