I had a dental emergency from a massive toothache. I will be honest and say up front that I am not the best dental patient. I get nervous in the dental chair and tend to avoid going if at all possible. That is how I ended up needing this root canal treatment. Now, aside from being terrified of the procedure itself, I’ve been doing some reading and learned that my tooth will probably turn dark. I don’t want to look weird. Is there any way to keep that from happening?
I’m going to address the anxiety first, because if this can be dealt with properly, then you will end up with much fewer dental emergencies if any at all. Don’t feel embarrassed by your anxiety. Many patients feel that way. In most cases, it stems from a traumatic experience with the dentist, often in childhood.
One thing you may want to do is see a dentist who offers dental sedation options. In most cases, for simple procedures such as a cleaning or check-up, just some nitrous oxide will be enough to relax you. For your root canal treatment, you will want something stronger. In that case, I will suggest oral conscious sedation. This is administered by a pill, but don’t let that fool you. It is so strong that you will need someone to drive you to and from your dental appointment as well as stay with you for a few hours after, until you are lucid and steady on your feet.
The Right Way to Deal with a Root Canal
Most of the darkening of a tooth after a root canal treatment is from the remnants of the root canal materials used for filling the tooth and the cement. What you will want your dentist to do is clean out all of that material in the crown of the tooth. When that is done, he or she will need to put a white fiberglass post into the tooth root and fill the remainder of the tooth with a white composite filling material. This procedure can forestall any darkening for a decade. After that time, if it darkens, there are other cosmetic procedures that can help with that when the time comes.
Sometimes dentists are not too keen on patients “explaining” how to do something to them. So, feel free to have the dentist read this so he won’t feel you are trying to tell him how to do his job.
This blog is brought to you by West Seneca Dentist Dr. Warren Krutchick.