We’ve all heard the rumors – root canals are scary and painful procedures, but sometimes they are necessary. A root canal is a procedure whereby the pulp of the tooth, or the soft tissue under the enamel, becomes inflamed or infected. These may be caused by a chip in the tooth, a crack, or even trauma to the tooth. If left untreated, inflamed pulp can lead to the loss of the tooth. More than 15 million root canals are performed annually, so while your dentist is very experienced in the procedure, it is often difficult to keep calm. But what can you do to prepare to make it easier?
Ask Your Dentist about Medication
If your tooth is already infected it can be very painful, and often times, this means that patients are inclined to take over the counter medication. It is important to ask your dentist prior to taking the medication as some of the ingredients may counter-act with the anesthesia or other medications during the procedure.
Withhold from Drinking or Smoking
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products also contain ingredients that may counter-act against the necessary medications during the procedure. Using these after the procedure may also slow healing times, it is important to have a conversation with the dentist regarding how long you should withhold from drinking or smoking before and after the root canal.
This may sound overly simplistic however, it isn’t. Having a satisfying meal prior to the procedure may save you from potentially going hungry all day. Remember, the anesthesia will numb your mouth, while the procedure may cause some discomfort.
A root canal is nothing to be scared of, and in fact, will help ease the pain associated with the tooth infection rather than cause more pain. It is important that you take the time to speak to the dentist about the procedure prior to the procedure to get a thorough understanding of it and prepare properly.
If you are experiencing tooth pain, or have any questions about root canals, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Hagerman at Family & Cosmetic Dentistry today! We proudly serve the areas of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota. To schedule a visit, please call us at (651)646-2392 or request an appointment online.