Root Canal Treatment
This procedure removes dental pulp from a tooth. Dental pulp is the soft core of the tooth. It extends from the top of the tooth, called the crown, down to the roots, called canals.
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Reasons for Procedure
This procedure is done to remove pulp that is dead or infected due to:
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:
- Excess bleeding
- Problems from anesthesia
- Inability to save the tooth
Things that may raise the risk of problems are:
- Chronic health problems, such as diabetes
What to Expect
The doctor may give:
- A sedative—you will feel relaxed
- Local anesthesia—the area will be numbed
- General anesthesia—you will be asleep
Problems to Look Out For
Call the dentist if you are not getting better or you have:
- Signs of infection, such as fever and chills
- Redness or swelling around the tooth
- Increased bleeding or other leakage around the tooth
- Pain that you cannot control with medicine
- A tooth that loosens
- New or worsening symptoms
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
Prior to the Procedure
The dentist will meet with you to talk about:
- Anesthesia options
- Any allergies you may have
- Current medicines, herbs, and supplements that you take and whether you need to stop taking them before the procedure
- Fasting before the procedure, such as avoiding food or drink after midnight the night before
- Arranging a ride to and from the procedure
- Acute apical dental abscess. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/acute-apical-dental-abscess.
- Root canals: FAQs about treatment that can save your tooth. Mouth Healthy—American Dental Association website. Available at: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/all-topics-a-z/root-canals.
- What is a root canal? American Association of Endodontists website. Available at: https://www.aae.org/patients/root-canal-treatment/what-is-a-root-canal.
- Mark Arredondo, MD
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