Being a college student is tough because studies consume most of my time. This is especially true during exams week. Because I need to really focus reviewing my lessons so I can get high grades, I barely spend time with my girl friends. The last time we had exams is unforgettable for me because I had an inflamed tooth that kept bothering me days before exams week. There are also days that I feel a little pain, which makes it hard for me to eat my food and to concentrate on my studies.
That time, I remember that one of my best girl friends had undergone root canal treatment. I can’t remember if she told me it was painful or not. So, I called her on the phone and asked her about the treatment. I learned that it’s not painful because the dentist used local anesthesia. Being relieved of the fear, I decided to do know more about the treatment on the Web.
While searching online, I’ve learned that root canal is a term used to refer to the tooth’s center where a natural cavity is located. However, when one says root canal, it generally refers to the treatment that is performed by a dentist or endodontist to save a tooth from decay or infection. I’ve realized that the treatment is performed to help people save their teeth especially if they don’t want them to be removed. I read in other articles that there are people who resort to root canal instead of removing their infected tooth and replace it with artificial ones. After knowing these information, I decided to look for a friendly dentist in Melbourne northern suburbs. Because I can’t afford to waste time, I did not consider looking for dentists in other cities.
I called my other girl friend that I think knows about the best dentists in Melbourne. Luckily, she was able to recommend a clinic that is not actually far from where I live. She also gave me the clinics contact number, which is good because I don’t need to search for them over the Web. After the call, I immediately called the dental clinic recommended to me. After a few exchange of questions and answers, I had my appointment scheduled the next day.
The day of my appointment came. I ate servings of fruits and tuna and then brushed my teeth well afterwards. I don’t want the dentist to see tiny pieces of food between my teeth. When inside the clinic, I didn’t feel comfortable because I’m not really used to the environment inside dental clinics. But because the staff and the dentist are so kind and assuring, I gradually felt comfortable. This is especially true when I was already asking questions about the treatment.
During our conversation, I was told that root canal treatment involves the removal of the damaged pulp or nerve tissue. This is done to prevent tooth infection or development of abscessed tooth. The infection can happen when the decayed debris and bacteria from the damaged nerve started to multiply inside the canal. If the tooth’s root canal became completely infected, the infection may also lead to drainage problems, bone loss, and swelling. When the dentist felt that I am very comfortable already, she explained to me the steps and the whole procedure. An x-ray is needed first for her to see the shape of my affected tooth’s root canal. After the x-ray, the dentist told me that I don’t have any serious infection in the surrounding bone. Then, she instructed me to sit on the dental chair and was told that a local anesthesia will be injected to numb the area around the affected tooth. She also explained to me that an anesthesia is not actually necessary because the nerve inside the tooth is dead. However, she still chose to inject the anesthesia to make me feel comfortable and to make the procedure a lot easier.
After the injection, the dentist placed a sheet of rubber called rubber dam around the affected tooth. Then, she drilled the tooth to create an access hole. When the hole is created, she carefully removed the damaged nerved tissue, which I actually didn’t realize was already done after a few minutes. She followed it with the cleaning process using root canal files. I’ve learned later on that sodium hypochlorite was used to flush away the scraped debris inside the canal. The last step was the sealing of the tooth. She told me that there are cases when the patient has to wait for one week to determine whether or not there will be further infection. But in my case, it is not needed because there is no severe infection, which made me happy because I am not required to go back again after a few days.
Today, I can confidently say that root canal is not a painful treatment.