Archive for appointment preparation

What to expect from a root canal treatment

A root canal treatment is the most feared dental procedure and the butt of many a joke. But, the reality is, it should just be a long, boring filling. Endodontists have great numbing stuff to make sure you don’t feel anything and they can prescribe anxiolytics so you can relax during the procedure. And, the rule for Dr. Conner is if it hurts, she stops.

Zeiss dental microscope Dr. Conner uses a microscope and rubber dam for the procedure. The microscope lets her see into your canals (this is also useful for seeing cracks inside your tooth to determine if your tooth is restorable). The rubber dam ensures bacteria in your mouth do not contaminate the tooth once she disinfects it. That does mean your mouth will be covered so you will need to be able to breathe through your nose during the procedure.

We use digital radiographs (x-rays) that minimize your exposure to radiation. The amount of exposure is similar to your x-ray sensors

The worst pain is what people are feeling that drives them to an endodontist in the first place, not the actual root canal treatment. The good news is, once that nerve is gone the pain goes away, too. The bad news is if it took a while to get that painful, it might take a few days for everything to calm down. Other than that, you might be a little sore just because someone was working in your mouth. Some ibuprofen or Tylenol should take care of any discomfort from the procedure (your dentist or endodontist will tell you what to take).


Before your root canal consult

Before you visit an endodontist for a possible root canal treatment, a few things would help in the diagnosis and treatment.

First, do not take any pain medications (aspirin, Ibuprofen, Advil, etc.) before your exam appointment. If you mask your symptoms, the doctor may not be able to isolate which tooth is causing the problems. Antibiotics can do this as well so timing of the exam with taking antibiotics is important.

Second, have a list of the medications you are taking. You don’t want those ugly adverse drug interactions happening.

man relaxing in chairFinally, if you are anxious, let the doctor know. There is no need to stress over this. While your mind may know it’s just like a long, boring filling, you can still be emotionally stressed. That can make it difficult to get numb. And, numbing is a good thing. So, your doctor can prescribe an anxiolytic. Chill….