What to Expect When Getting a Root Canal


A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures that people go through. Most general dentists can perform root canals, so you will likely not need to see a specialist like an endodontist. The American Association of Endodontists tells you what to expect from a root canal.

You will get an X-ray to see how far the decay has spread. Your dental care starts with a shot of local anesthetic to make you feel numb. You may still feel twinges from the drilling.

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Your pain is caused by an infection or decay in your dental pulp, located deep within your tooth, inside an area called a canal. Your tooth is drilled open to access the infected or decayed pulp. A disinfectant is sprayed in your tooth. The pulp is removed. The empty canals are cleaned and shaped. The canal is then filled and capped with a temporary filling or crown, depending on your particular circumstances. A mold is made for your permanent crown or filling, and your bite checked.

Your permanent crown or filling is usually made in a dental laboratory, but some dentists are able to make one in their offices. If you have to wait for your permanent crown or filling, the wait will be a couple of weeks. Your permanent crown or filling is loosely fitted. Your bite is checked. If everything looks and feels good, then the crown or filling is cemented in.

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