Root canal procedures aren’t difficult, but they can be lengthy. Many patients who suffer from anxiety may have trouble sitting quietly for long periods of time while the dentist performs the procedure. Sedation dentistry offers patients an opportunity to be fully relaxed, but still awake during a procedure. Mild sedation is used to keep them calm and it allows the dentist the time they need to complete the procedure without rushing or fearing the patient will become nervous. During a sedation procedure, the patient has the option of being asleep or semi-conscious. While they are still awake and can interact with the dentist, their anxiety level is low and they are fully relaxed and at ease.
Root canals are performed to remove the root of a tooth that has become infected or abscessed. During a root canal procedure, the top of the tooth is removed to provide the dentist access to the root. Once the root is fully exposed, the doctor removes it, creating a small canal. The canal is filled with a composite substance that hardens to support the structure of the tooth and keep it intact. Once the canal has been filled, the dentist will attach a temporary or permanent crown to protect the tooth. If a temporary crown is put in place, a permanent one will be created and attached at a later date.
During a root canal, the entire root of the tooth is removed. It does not grow back, nor can it be replaced. Over time, however, the crown or other aspects of the tooth may become compromised causing a need for a second root canal. The dentist may choose to perform another root canal, or they have the option to remove the tooth and replace it with a dental implant. The basic effect of the root canal is permanent because once it is in place it can only be repaired. If a tooth is severely damaged after a root canal has been performed, there may be no way to repair it. When this occurs, extraction is the most common option. It is left up to the person to decide whether an implant will be used.