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Posted on: March 21, 2022
Uncover the Truth About Root Canal Treatment
If a dentist informs you that you need a root canal, don’t panic. It’s a virtually painless treatment which can save your tooth. You’re probably in a lot of pain if you need root canal therapy, and the procedure can stop the pain. You’ll only have temporary discomfort afterwards and this goes away quickly. If you wait too long, you could end up losing the tooth. Loosing a tooth can be a costly and painful experience, resulting in lost time and money. If it’s possible to save your natural tooth, always take that option.
Why Is Root Canal Treatment Necessary?
Dentists perform root canal treatments when the pulp inside a tooth is badly infected. This can happen when there is deep decay, or the tooth is damaged by trauma. A root canal procedure removes the pulp in the tooth to get rid of the infection. If a person needs the treatment and does not get it, the infection can spread, harming nearby teeth and the jawbone. The infection can also spread throughout the body. The procedure also ends the pain; it does not cause it. The only other option for removing the infection is an extraction. It’s always better to save a natural tooth if possible.
How Would I Know If I Need a Root Canal?
Here are the typical warning signs that you need root canal therapy:
- Intense tooth pain that is strong enough to prevent you from sleeping
- Swollen, tender gums near the tooth
- A tooth that hurts if you put slight pressure in it
- A pimple or abscess on the gum
- One cheek looks swollen
- You can have a nasty taste in your mouth from pus draining
- The tooth darkens
Only a dentist can determine if you actually need root canal therapy. Don’t wait to make an appointment if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms. Some of these symptoms may indicate a different problem, but the overall idea is to get yourself to a dentist as soon as possible. The symptoms listed above do not go away if left untreated. Rather, they begin to get worse as your body struggles to fight off the infection. Instead of waiting to see if it gets better, save yourself the trouble and visit your dentist right away. If you wait, you may lose your tooth.
What Are Common Questions People Have Regarding the Root Canal Procedure?
When hearing they need a root canal, many people ask:
- Do you believe I’m a suitable candidate for root canal therapy?
- Is there pain after the treatment is over?
- Is there any other procedure that will work as well as a root canal?
- What steps are involved in the procedure?
- How long will my root canal take?
- Will I be numb during the procedure?
- Are root canals risky?
- What’s the average cost of root canal therapy?
- Are root canals and crowns afterward covered by my dental insurance?
- Will my natural tooth be strong as my other teeth after I get my crown?
When you need a root canal, take the time to discuss the procedure with your dentist. You may be apprehensive and they will want to make sure your feel completely comfortable with the procedure before you begin.
What Is the Root Canal Treatment Procedure Step-by-Step?
You’ll start by describing your symptoms with your dentist. He or she will examine your teeth and take an x-ray to visualize the canals in the tooth’s toots. If your dentist determines you need root canal therapy, it goes like this:
It all starts with your dentist administering a local anesthetic to numb the area. He or she won’t want you to feel any pain, so nothing is done until you are completely numb. Your dentist will place a protective sheet, called a dental dam, in your mouth and poke a hole in it where the procedure is being done. This isolates the tooth and give him or her a sterile environment to work in.
2. Pulp Removal
Since the pulp is inside the crown and roots of the tooth, your dentist will have to drill a small hole to reach it. He or she will then use tiny files to remove the pulp, periodically flushing the tooth out with water. Next, your dentist will shape the canals and disinfect them, so they are clean and ready for a filling.
3.Replacing the Pulp
Gutta-percha, a rubber-like, biocompatible material replaces infected pulp. Your dentist will heat the material and press it against the sides of the canals to keep bacteria out. The hole made to access the pulp gets a temporary filling over it.
This is the end of your first appointment. You’ll have to return in several weeks to have a custom crown put over the tooth. This appointment will take between 30 and 90 minutes. Getting a crown placed does not take nearly as long.
Will I Experience Pain After Having a Root Canal Treatment?
You won’t have the same pain as before the procedure, just some minor tenderness that only lasts a few days. Your dentist will suggest an OTC pain reliever to ease your discomfort. If you have acute pain, you should call your dentist right away. As with any procedure, make sure you listen to the instructions from your dentist. They have completed many similar procedures and know what helps patients get better faster.
What Is Healing Like After Root Canals?
Your healing should be a quick experience with little discomfort. Some people go back to work or school the same day, but resting will help your tooth heal faster. Be sure you don’t:
- Ignore your dental hygiene. It’s vital that you bush and floss as you normally do, just be gentle around the tooth. Continue to practice good dental hygiene for your whole life, and hopefully you can avoid another root canal.
- Eat until the local anesthetic wears off. You may bite down on your cheek or the site too hard and cause more damage which will require intervention from your dentist.
- Chew on the side where you had the root canal until you get your crown. Avoid biting down on the healing tooth, it will save you trouble or having to return to the dentist.
- Smoke. Smoking will slow the healing process and may cause an infection due to the chemicals in tobacco. It may be the perfect time to quit!
Why Do I Need a Second Appointment?
Your root canal treatment requires a second appoint to be complete. During the initial visit, your dentist will make an impression of your tooth to have a custom crown constructed for you. When you return, the crown is ready to be placed over your tooth, so it will be as strong as possible and will last for many years.
Don’t let needing a root canal scare you away from the dentist! We promise your experience will be very different than stories you may have heard. It’s always in a dentist’s best interests to ensure you are comfortable and ready for the procedure.