Aching teeth are a literal pain, especially when decay and infections are to blame. In these situations, a root canal can be employed to repair and save a damaged tooth.
Why do some people need endodontic treatment?
Our teeth have a soft, inner tissue called the pulp. If this pulp becomes infected or inflamed, it’s important to treat it to avoid additional pain or the development of an abscess. Individuals who need a root canal need them for a variety of reasons, including deep decay, repeated procedures on a tooth, a faulty crown, or crack or chip in the tooth. If you are experiencing severe pain while eating, notice pimples on your gums, have lingering sensitivities to hot and cold foods and drinks, are dealing with swollen or tender gums, or can see deep decay or dark spots on your gums, it’s important that you visit a dentist and find out if you are in need of a root canal.
Why Endodontic Treatment Is Important
Oral health is connected to overall well being. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding a tooth will become infected and a pus-filled pocket, also known as an abscess, can form at the end of the roots of the tooth. An abscess occurs when the infection spreads all the way past the ends of the roots of the tooth. The infection in the root canal of a tooth can cause swelling that may spread to other areas of the face, neck, or head and create bone loss around the tip of the root. In some cases, these infections can be life-threatening. Addressing infected pulp in its early stages can both help you feel better and keep your natural teeth in place instead of being extracted later.
How a Root Canal Works
During a root canal, the infected nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. While this process might seem intimidating, it’s important to know that endodontic treatments are extremely common and our staff members are well equipped to give you optimal care during the procedure. First, we will apply a local anesthetic to numb the area around your tooth. Once you are comfortable, we will open up the top of your tooth so we can access your damaged pulp and root canals. Using our specialized tools, we will remove the pulp, clean and shape the inside of your tooth, and fill the opening with a safe material. The final step is having a crown placed on your tooth to protect it and the work that was done. You’ll be excited to know that most teeth treated with root canals last as long as other natural teeth.
What You Can Expect After a Root Canal
Life won’t change much after your procedure takes place, apart from the fact that you will be pain-free in your infected area. Immediately after your root canal, you might experience some continuing numbness or discomfort. This is completely normal and disappears in a matter of days or even hours. In the meantime, you can use over-the-counter pain medication to relieve any discomfort.
After your root canal, you will want to be mindful of what you eat. It’s smart to avoid hard or chewy treats, like candy. You might find it more comfortable to have soft foods, like yogurt, pudding, or scrambled eggs. This modified diet will only be needed until you’re feeling back to your normal self. You can get back to your routine of brushing and flossing the very same day that your procedure takes place.
Benefits of a Root Canal
Although a root canal might not be the most exciting thing to do on an afternoon, the benefits are well worth having the procedure. Endodontic treatments help you maintain your natural smile because you keep your natural teeth. A common alternative to root canals is an extraction. Unfortunately, that process is more painful and can cause your other teeth to shift, altering the way your mouth looks and feels. A root canal also allows you to avoid dentures, implants, and bridges.
Contact Cohen Dental Care Today!
No one should have to deal with tooth pain on a daily basis, and early intervention is key to keeping your mouth healthy, your smile big, and your future a little easier. If we notice any signs of concern during your next dental exam, it’s possible that we will discuss the option of a root canal. If you have any questions along the way, we’re here to help!