3 Things You Need To Know About Getting A Root Canal

Dentist Blog

A root canal is a form of dental surgery that is performed when you have a pulp-filled cavity that is located in the root of a specific tooth in your mouth. Here are three things you need to know about getting a root canal that your dentist may not tell you.  

#1 The Sooner The Treatment, The Less The Pain

If you want to reduce the pain of going through a root canal procedure, it helps to get treated right away. As soon as you notice that a tooth is aching, you should go in and have it looked at by your dentist. If you wait until your tooth is swollen, it is going to be more painful to go through the root canal procedure. Root canals are preformed because your tooth has rotted all the way down to the roots of your tooth, which can extend into your jaw. Your tooth and roots continue to deteriorate, and can even end up affecting the health of your gum and surrounding teeth if you wait too long to have the procedure done. Having the procedure performed will stop the rot that is occurring inside of your mouth. 

If paying for the root canal is holding you back from scheduling the procedure, talk to your endodontist about a payment plan. Many endodontist will work on a payment plan with you, where you pay around 50% up front and the rest in installments. 

#2 Go To An Endodontist Who Uses A Microscope

Although some dentists perform root canals, it is best to go to an endodontist. An endodontist is a dentist who has received specialized training in dental surgeries, such as root canals, and who performs them on a daily basis. 

When searching for the right endodontist for your root canal, be sure to ask for how much of the procedure they use a microscope. Ideally, you want to go to an endodontist who uses a microscope for 100% of the procedure. A microscope allows the endodontist to magnify the root structure of your teeth and follow your roots all the way down to where they end. A microscope also allows your endodontist to identify any tributary roots that you have. Tributary roots are small roots that extend off your main roots; they often do not show up on x-rays and can be missed if a microscope is not used. If these tributary roots are not properly treated during your root canal procedure, it could lead to complications and may even result in you needing to have that tooth re-treated with a second root canal. A microscope increases the chance that the endodontist will correct treat and identify all affected roots. 

Using a microscope helps to ensure that you get the best results and that the endodontist does not miss any anatomy while treating your tooth.

#3 Schedule A Follow-Up With Your Dentist

You will need to go and see your dentist a couple of days after you go to your endodontist. You want to go to your dentist for a follow-up to ensure that everything is healing correctly. 

You also need to schedule an appointment with your dentist because the root canal procedure is not the final step in the process. Next, you will need to have either a filling or a crown put on the tooth that the root canal was performed on. This will seal off the top of your tooth and prevent food and bacteria from getting into your tooth where the procedure was performed. Following your procedure, your dentist will put a temporary filling or crown in place while your tooth heals. Then, in a couple of weeks, they will put on the permanent crown or filling. When you schedule your root canal, you need to schedule at least two follow up appointments with your dentist for a crown or a filling. 

You also need to find out how much these procedures will cost. Depending on your insurance coverage, you may have to pay part or all of the cost of getting a crown or filling. If cost is a concern for you, talk with your doctor about payment options and assistance. 


10 May 2016