A root canal may send shivers down your spine when your dentist mentions the procedure. Fortunately, there’s no need to panic. Every year, millions of root canals are performed to help treat damaged and diseased teeth. You may worry or dread the thought of the procedure and associate it with pain and discomfort; but in reality, root canals relieve agonizing tooth pain and help restore potentially unrepairable smiles. The vast majority of patients experience little to no pain.
A root canal is a process of removing the diseased or damaged pulp in the tooth. Also known as endodontic treatment, it is the best way to relieve throbbing pain and prevent the spread of acute infection. The procedure can also help protect surrounding teeth from excessive wear or tear that is the result of compensating for tooth pain.
When is a Root Canal Needed?
Root canals are most commonly needed when a tooth is cracked or broken, where an infection is suspected, or when a cavity is too deep for a regular filling. Root canals may also be necessary if there are underlying issues from a previous filling, such as a loose seal or the development of a cavity under a filling.
When a tooth becomes infected, the pain may be excruciating and require treatment. A thorough dental exam will determine the extent of the infection. There are two options available to deal with an infected tooth. Those options are to remove the infected tooth or get rid of the infection while letting the patient keep the tooth. In other words, either the tooth is extracted, or the dentist performs an endodontic treatment.
The reason why root canal procedures are so vital is that they remove the infected, diseased pulp can quickly become inflamed and spread the infection to the tissues around the tooth, including the jaw. This process may lead to intense pain and swelling, but even if there is no pain or swelling present, the infection may still damage the bone of the jaw. Worse, the infection may enter the bloodstream, which could result in blood poisoning, known as sepsis.
Root Canal Procedure
The process of getting a root canal is straightforward and is completed in only one session. Following an examination by your dentist, in which they recognize the issue and a root canal deemed the best course of action, your dentist will begin the procedure by numbing the affected area with a local anesthetic. In cases where a patient requests or the dentist deems more comfort is required, a sedative anesthetic is administered, rendering the patient unconscious for the entire process. In the majority of instances, however, local anesthetic is all that I needed – trust us, this procedure isn’t as bad as you’ve been told!
Once the area is numb, the dentist places thin latex-based material known as a rubber dam over the tooth to keep it dry. After this dam is in place, an opening is created through the tooth’s crown to access the pulp.
Once the dentist accesses the pulp, they remove the pulp in both roots of the infected tooth and may apply a topical medicine to help treat the infection in situ. Once the pulp has been fully extracted, and the disease dealt with, the dentist will fill the cavity created with a rubber-like compound to seal them canals. A temporary filling will then be placed on top of the affected tooth to help prevent any further infection.
After the area has a chance to heal, your dentist will likely replace the temporary filling with either a permanent filling or a crown to seal the tooth, strengthen it, and improve its appearance. Also, you may be prescribed a course of antibiotics to help kill any remaining infection in the body. It is essential you fully take all prescribed medicines, to ensure the infection does not return.
Root Canal Recovery Timeline
Once the anesthetic begins to wear off, you may notice some mild pain and sensitivity in the area affected. This mild discomfort is completely normal and is related to the process of removing the pulp. This discomfort should pass in a few days.
The discomfort with root canals is so minimal that, in many cases, you will likely only need over-the-counter pain relievers to help with any trouble. To help with any discomfort, you should avoid chewing hard foods in the affected area, to allow the swelling to subside, and to improve your to heal.
Complete Dentistry Services
Of course, a root canal procedure is not the only reason you should pay a visit to Florida Dental Solutions. We offer a full array of dental care options, from regular teeth cleanings to complete orthodontic work. We want to make your dental experience as carefree as possible, which is why our friendly and professional staff goes over the benefits of each option to ensure you get something that fits your lifestyle. We look to provide a pleasant, family environment while delivering affordable prices. If you have any questions while here, always feel free to ask for clarification. Don’t delay any longer. Pick up the phone and call us today at (954) 362-4102 to find out how we can help you discover a renewed smile.
Helping you improve your smile and maintain your oral health.
6902 Stirling Road
Davie, Florida 33024
Monday – Wednesday: 9am – 5pm
Saturday: 9am – 3pm
Available 24/7 for emergencies