A root canal procedure may become necessary when the pulp within a tooth becomes inflamed or infected and is unable to be restored to its prior condition. Unlike many other structures in the body, teeth are incapable of healing themselves, so a tooth that has sustained damage will require dental intervention in order to save the tooth. Fortunately, the layer of enamel over the teeth is one of the hardest substances in the body, because it is supposed to provide superior protection to the more sensitive inner layers. However, even enamel can wear down over time, which can result in damage to the tooth. It is important to schedule a visit with us whenever you experience pain in your teeth, as procrastinating the dental work will allow potential damage to escalate. The sooner you obtain the necessary dental treatment, the less the damage will be allowed to grow.
Keep in mind that dental insurance is intended primarily to serve a preventative approach, which means that it will generally cover more of the costs of exams and cleanings than restorative procedures. Keeping your teeth in the best possible condition is the most effective way to protect the health of your teeth.
Root Canal Symptoms
Knowing the symptoms that a tooth needs a root canal can help you to obtain the services that you need before the issue is allowed to escalate to significant proportions. A constant toothache, one that persists even without pressure being placed on the tooth, may indicate that a root canal is necessary. Severe pain when pressure is placed on the tooth is another sign.
Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures may indicate that a root canal is necessary, though another sign is sensitivity that lingers after the hot or cold temperatures have been removed. Discharge or physical discoloration indicate significant problems with the tooth. Swelling of the gums is another sign of problems. Pay special attention to teeth that may be chipped or fractured. These breaks will allow bacteria to infiltrate into the inner layers of the teeth, which will make the teeth particularly vulnerable to potential infections.
Root Canal Steps
Many people experience significant amounts of anxiety when they are told that they need to have a root canal to save their tooth. Understanding each step in the process can help to prepare an individual for an impending root canal treatment, as well as alleviate concerns. The first step in the root canal process is a thorough exam, including an x-ray to provide a look at the pulp within the tooth. Anesthesia will be applied to the area to eliminate feelings of discomfort throughout the procedure and a dental dam will be used to segregate the tooth and prevent saliva or bacteria from contaminating the site throughout the process.
Once the tooth has been prepared and thoroughly numbed, a hole will be created in the tooth to provide access to root canals. The damaged pulp is removed, the inside of the tooth is cleaned and disinfected, and the area will be sealed with a temporary filling, permanent filling, or crown. Depending on the situation, a root canal treatment may require multiple visits in order to have a crown custom made for the tooth. If you are ever concerned regarding any step of the process, consult with our experienced professionals to obtain the information that you need to simplify the process.
Recovery after the Root Canal Process
Root canals are commonly undertaken to alleviate serious pain, but it is important to follow the appropriate steps following the treatment to prevent potential complications. Ensure that you follow your dentist’s instructions carefully, as they will know the specific details of your situation. It is also important to follow superior oral hygiene practices to minimize the likelihood of infection following a root canal. You may experience soreness and tenderness following the treatment, but this can generally be managed through over the counter pain medications. Your dentist may prescribe pain medications or antibiotics to help with pain and prevent infection.
You should wait until the numbness wears off before eating after the procedure. This will prevent you from accidentally injuring the inside of your mouth, as well as minimize the likelihood of spilling hot liquids on yourself. Eat soft foods to avoid irritating the area. You should also avoid sticky and hard foods that can pull out a filling or crack the tooth’s restoration. It is important to take care following a root canal to prevent damage from occurring to the tooth. Proper care will help the benefits of a root canal to last much longer. However, in some situations it may become necessary to have further treatments done to the tooth to preserve its health.
What Pain is Normal after a Root Canal?
Some discomfort is relatively normal following a root canal. Drilling into a tooth can cause irritation and even inflammation. Soreness of the jaw muscles is also common following these procedures, as the mouth will have to remain open for an extended period of time. However, these uncomfortable side effects should subside within a few days. Extreme pain isn’t simply a regular symptom following a root canal, so you should consult a dentist following your root canal if you are experiencing extreme amounts of pain. If the pain lasts for longer than a few days, it may indicate infection or another issue following the root canal.
A root canal can be a vital component to save a tooth and protect the health of your smile. When a root canal becomes necessary, it is important to obtain the services as soon as possible to prevent extractions from becoming necessary, along with preventing problems that occur when a tooth has been lost. It is similarly important to undergo the appropriate oral hygiene steps to protect the health of your teeth. Ensure that you brush twice a day, floss daily, and visit us at least every 6 months. If you suspect that you need a root canal, it is important to act quickly. Contact our experts at Oral Health Center today!