Preparing for a Root Canal? Here’s What To Expect

Preparing for a Root Canal? Here’s What To Expect

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When your tooth is badly decayed or infected, your dentist may recommend you for a root canal.

The term “root canal” comes from cleaning of the canals inside a tooth’s root. During the procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. In this way, infection on the tissue surrounding the affected tooth is prevented.

What can you expect during the procedure?
A root canal procedure usually involves the following steps:

1. The dentist takes a radiographic image of the tooth using X-ray then administers local anesthesia.

2. Once the tooth is numb, the dentist places a “dental dam” to isolate the tooth, keeping it clean and free from saliva during the procedure.

3. An opening in the crown of the tooth is created and using small, specialized instruments; the dentist cleans the pulp from the pulp chamber and root canal and shapes the space for filling.

4. The dentist fills the root canal with a rubber-like material. An adhesive cement is used to ensure complete sealing of the root canal.

In many cases, a temporary filling is used to close the opening. This will be removed before the restoration of the tooth.

5. You will be scheduled for another visit to your dentist to have a crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to protect and restore it.

How can you prepare for it?
Just like any dental procedure, right and timely preparation is the key in making the procedure and recovery more comfortable for you. Here are some tips on how you can prepare for your root canal:

* If painkillers will be prescribed post-procedure, it’s best that you pick up the prescriptions so you won’t have to worry about it after the procedure.

* Discuss with your dentist the aftercare of the procedure before it’s done. In this way, you’ll have time to prepare for what’s needed.

* Get enough sleep the night before the procedure. When your body is in optimal health, recovery will be faster and easier.

* Freeze ice before your scheduled procedure. There can be pain and swelling after the procedure and ice can help in alleviating those.

* In some cases, antibiotics are prescribed prior to the procedure. Take the full recommended dose and do not stop midway even if you think you no longer need it.

* Never hesitate to ask questions to your dentist. This often helps in alleviating your anxiety towards the procedure.

If you are severely anxious, a tranquilizer may be given prior to treatment.


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Oral Health Is Important At Any Age!

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Good nutrition, brushing, and flossing are essentials to maintaining good oral health. However, dental routine can vary, depending on one’s age. Listed below is a guide on how to maintain good oral health all throughout your life.

Although you can’t see the full set of teeth, it isn’t too early to start caring for your baby’s dental health:

* Never let your baby sleep with the bottle in his/her mouth.

*Use only breastmilk or formula in your baby’s bottle. Bottle tooth decay is usually a result of exposure to sugar in drinks (e.g. juice or soda).
* Use a soft, wet cloth to gently clean your baby’s gums and budding teeth everyday.
* Schedule a dental appointment for your child as soon as the first tooth comes in.

It may be challenging to stay on top of your kid’s oral hygiene but it’ll be worth it. Help your child develop a strong foundation for good dental health by doing the following:

* Starting at the age 3, you can provide fluoride toothpaste. It is generally safe and important for your child’s dental health.
* Make sure your child sees a dentist twice a year.
* If your child plays sports, make sure he/she wears a mouthguard.
* Make sugary food an occasional treat. This helps prevent dental cavities.

Your teenager is most likely to have 28 teeth by this stage. With overwhelming changes and activities, it can be a challenge for your teen to keep up with his/her oral hygiene. You can help him/her through the following:

* Swap sugary drinks like soda with healthier alternatives like a fruit or veggie smoothie. Sodas and similar beverages taste great but they can damage your teen’s teeth with the acid and sugar content.
* Encourage healthier on-the-go snacks. Frequent snacking coupled with a busy lifestyle makes it very tempting to eat junk food. This can have negative consequences on the teeth in the long run. Keep this from happening by encouraging your teenager to pack healthier snacks like fruits, cheeses, veggies, sugar-free gum, and water.

Compared to the previous stages, you’ll be on your own at this point – no one will be reminding you to brush and floss your teeth and see a dentist. If you continue doing good dental habits, your teeth and mouth will serve you for long.

* Watch what you eat and drink. Sugar and caffeinated food and drinks can stain your teeth.
* If you’re pregnant or nursing, it’s very much safe to see a dentist.
* See your dentist regularly. It’s so easy to get complacent especially when you’re not experiencing anything. Remember that gum disease and other oral health issues can be treated easily when detected early.

Stay on top of your dental health especially at this stage when things can get more complicated due to other health issues.

* Continue seeing your dentist regularly. Gum disease is very common among seniors and complications can be more severe due to pre-existing conditions.
* Your dentures also need TLC so make sure to include them in your daily routine.


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