Whether you’ve had several root canals before or are visiting us for your very first root canal treatment, it’s normal to feel some level of anxiety and nervousness before your dental appointment. We understand having butterflies before a dental visit, which is why we do everything we can to educate our patients about their treatment to help ease any lingering fears.
Root canals occur over several steps, during either one or two visits to our New Orleans dental office. The necessary steps are as follows:
Step 1: Anesthesia
When you visit Downtown Dental for your New Orleans root canal therapy, the first thing we will do once you’re settled in the dental chair is numb the area, so you don’t feel a thing. Our dental anesthesia takes a few minutes to become fully effective, so we give the numbing agent time to activate entirely before beginning the procedure.
You can expect your root canal to be pain-free and only to feel sensations of pressure from start to finish.
Step 2: Entering the Interior of Your Tooth
The objective of root canal therapy is removing all infected material from inside your tooth. To gain access to your tooth’s interior, Dr. Rathke needs to drill a microscopic hole using a special dental drill. If you’re worried about this drilling sound making you nervous or uncomfortable, we encourage bringing a set of headphones so you can listen to music or a podcast during your visit.
Once Dr. Rathke has access to the inside of your tooth, he can remove the bacteria and infected material—leaving behind a clean interior.
Step 3: Filling and Supporting the Tooth
After we clean out your infected tooth, it will be more hollow and prone to damage than a healthy tooth would be. To help bolster your tooth and protect against future dental problems, we will 1) rinse the tooth and apply medicine to the area; 2) fill the tooth with a unique material known as gutta-percha to seal off the canals, and 3) cover the tooth with a new artificial tooth crown.
Step 4: Recovery
As soon as we complete your treatment and your anesthesia wears off, you should feel completely pain-free, aside from mild, routine post-op tenderness and soreness that may last a few days. The debilitating, excruciating tooth pain you felt while your tooth was still infected should be completely gone!
If you have additional questions about your root canal therapy in New Orleans, we're happy to answer them for you. All you need to do is give our treatment team a call today!