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Posted on: April 29, 2022
Uncover the Truth About Root Canal Treatment
Root canals are a common dental procedure, yet many people don’t know the details about why this procedure is necessary or how it works. Reading this guide can assist you in learning the truth about root canals, while at the same time helping you to decide if this is the type of treatment that you need.
Why Root Canals Are Necessary
A commonly held misconception about root canals is that the treatment method causes pain in the tooth. It’s important to know that a root canal procedure will provide you with relief from tooth pain and the issues surrounding it, rather than causing the pain. The actual procedure is painless. The causes of tooth pain are infection, decay or damage to a tooth that affects the pulpy insides of the tooth. Not addressing this problem will lead to severe tooth pain. It can also lead to the loss of your tooth. Receiving treatment at the first sign of trouble will allow your dentist to save your tooth.
Top Ten Questions About Root Canals
When speaking to your dentist about receiving a root canal, ask the below questions to find out if this treatment can help you.
- Am I the right candidate for the procedure?
- Will I experience pain after my root canal has been done?
- Is there a different type of procedure that will treat my problem?
- What happens during a root canal?
- How long will the process take?
- Will I need to be given anesthetic during the procedure?
- What are the risks involved with this treatment?
- How much do root canals cost?
- Will my insurance cover my procedure?
- Will the procedure affect the strength of my tooth?
Serious Dental Warning Signs
There are several different types of tooth pain that could be a sign that you need a root canal. If you have any of the below symptoms, you should visit an affordable dentist immediately to determine if you need to pursue this treatment method:
- Tooth pain that is persistent or severe
- Gums that are red and swollen
- Teeth and gums that feel tender to the touch
- Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold that won’t go away
- Tooth discoloration
- Severe tooth decay
- Having a small bump on the gums surrounding the affected tooth
A Step-by-Step Guide to Root Canals
If your dentist has decided that you need to have a root canal, you’re probably experiencing some concern about the procedure. This guide can help you understand every step of the process.
Step 1 – Detection of an Infection
If the pulp inside of your tooth becomes severely damaged or infected, you most likely need to have a root canal. Common signs of this include swelling, pain and redness. If you’re experiencing any of those symptoms, you should call your dentist as soon as possible.
Step 2 – Beginning the Root Canal Procedure
Once the tooth has been examined, your dentist will decide whether you need to have a root canal. If the procedure is necessary, he or she will numb your tooth so that an opening can be made in the crown of the tooth. This opening allows your dentist to access the pulp.
Step 3 – Removing the Root of the Problem
Once the tooth’s pulp is accessible, your dentist will take out the damaged or infected pulp with specialized tools. He or she will then clean your tooth.
Step 4 – Filling the Tooth’s Canals
The tooth’s canals will be shaped and packed with a type of filling that will keep your tooth protected from further damage.
Step 5 – Restoring the Tooth
Once the pulp has been removed, your dentist will seal up the opening in the tooth’s crown via the use of a temporary filling.
Step 6 – Receiving the Crowning Glory
Your dentist will need to see you again shortly after the procedure has taken place. This is so your dentist can place a crown over the tooth so that it is protected from further damage and decay.
Dos and Don’ts After Getting a Root Canal
Do you have questions about what the healing process is like? Use our guide to ensure that your recovery is fast and complete.
What to Expect After Your Root Canal
You can expect to feel some tingling or tenderness in the area around the affected tooth for a few days after the procedure has taken place. There may also be a bit of tenderness when you keep your jaw open for extended periods. Over-the-counter pain relievers are usually able to treat these symptoms. You can also expect your tooth to feel a little different that your other teeth for a few weeks after your procedure. If you have any severe pain or experience severe pressure, you should contact your dentist immediately.
Promoting Healing at Home
Your dentist will provide you with detailed instructions about the recovery process. These instructions should be followed precisely, as they will allow you to recover more quickly. Contact your dentist if you have questions, concerns, severe pain, ongoing discomfort or any adverse reactions. While each root canal case is different, here are some of the most common guidelines for allowing your mouth to heal properly after a root canal:
- Avoid eating until the numbness from your anesthetic has worn off. This will prevent you from injuring your tongue or cheek.
- Refrain from chewing or biting in the area where the affected tooth is located until the tooth has been fully healed and restored.
- Follow your dentist’s instructions about medications.
- Be careful around the treated area when you brush and floss your teeth.
- Contact your dentist immediately if you have swelling, nausea, tooth pain, an allergic reaction or any other out of the ordinary symptoms.
Follow-Up Care for Root Canals
Having a root canal performed on your tooth is the first step to returning your tooth back to normal. To be sure that your tooth stays healthy you will need to come back to see your dentist to have the temporary filling replaced with a permanent restoration piece. You will schedule this procedure right after your root canal.