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Preparing for a Root Canal

Root canals are one of the most common dental procedures. Over 14 million root canals are safely performed across North America per year. However, many patients can have stress and anxiety come up when told that they will need a root canal. Hopefully this blog will address these fears by explaining the process. If you require a root canal, please rest assured that at ARTA Dental, we will take utmost care to keep you comfortable while providing you with a safe and effective treatment. ‘‘Do it Well… and Do it Once” is a personal motto of Dr. Sam Siew, B.D.Sc.

At the center of every tooth is a pulp, a collection of nerves and blood vessels. The pulp can become infected due to untreated decay, broken or cracked teeth, or dental trauma. This infection can cause pain, swelling and sensitivity to hot and cold. If left untreated, the

Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks and chips, or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of the infection can be identified as visible injury , swelling of the gums near the tooth, sensitivity to temperature or pain in the tooth and gums.

This pulp needs to be removed, and the root canal system cleaned. Local anesthesia is used to numb the area and eliminate pain. If you are nervous about this procedure, or simply have a low pain tolerance, IV sedation is available. You will still be conscious while under IV sedation, but anxiety and pain will be greatly decreased. Many patients emerged from treatment with little to no memory of the procedure, which is a great bonus for patients who have anxiety.

Root canal treatments are usually successful, and don’t take much longer than a regular filling would. After the treatment however, it is wise to have a crown fitted over the tooth, to strengthen it and prevent cracks or breaks. In rare cases, issues can arise post- treatment, such as reinfection. In this case, you will return to the office for a retreatment of the root canal. We will be available during the healing process; do not hesitate to contact us if you feel continued discomfort or if you have any questions regarding your root canal treatment.

To prevent further infection or decay, it is a good idea to practise good oral hygiene, which includes brushing and flossing at least once every 24 hours. Don’t hesitate to speak to Dr. Siew or your dental hygienist if you are unsure about how to properly care for your teeth.