Concerned about getting root canal therapy in Henrico? Check these FAQs

People often have unfounded fears about dental procedures. The moment your dentist tells you about root canal therapy, you probably have a thousand thoughts on your mind. The procedure is relatively simple and common, and as with most endodontic treatments, the risks are minimal. Before you see your Henrico, VA dentist for RCT, read some common FAQs below.

What is root canal therapy?

If you have an infected tooth, your dentist will have to remove the pulp, bacterial growth, and nerve vessels from the inside, which is what the root canal procedure is about. It is an endodontic treatment that can be performed by your general dentist or endodontist.

How successful is root canal therapy?

When a tooth is infected or decayed on the inside, there are usually two options – root canal therapy and extraction. The latter is more complex and would require you to think of getting replacement tooth soon. On the contrary, root canal treatment focuses on saving the tooth and has a success rate of over 90%.

Is root canal therapy painful?

No, it is a common myth that root canal therapy is painful. The discomfort, if any, is similar to a cavity filling. Your dentist will use local anesthesia for the procedure, and you will never feel pain. There can be some tenderness for the next 48 hours, but these side effects should reduce in no time. You can ask your dentist for a painkiller if you are in severe pain.

What are the signs that a patient needs root canal therapy?

There are a few telltale signs of tooth decay and infection, such as swelling of the gums close to the tooth, toothaches, and a recurring pimple on the gums surrounding the affected tooth. Some patients also experience lingering sensitivity to cold and hot foods. Discoloration of the infected tooth is also common. At times, someone may not have immediate symptoms, but the dentist may find an infection in a tooth during an X-ray or routine exam, following which they may recommend RCT.

How many appointments are necessary to complete RCT?

In most cases, dentists can complete a root canal in one appointment. However, to avoid discomfort and keep time for healing, it is common to break the procedure into two to three sessions. You can talk to your dentist to know what may work best for you.

Despite misconceptions, root canal treatment is a fairly safe and effective procedure.