Sometimes, a tooth is too decayed or damaged for a simple restoration (like a filling) to repair it. To keep the natural tooth in the gum line and functioning for years to come, root canal therapy may be the appropriate method of treatment. This is a common restorative solution for many patients -- and, despite what you have heard, there is nothing to fear from a modern root canal. Keep reading to learn more about why root canals are necessary, how the procedure works, and how long recovery lasts. We’ve got everything you need to know about root canals!
We will likely recommend a root canal when the interior tissue of a tooth (the pulp) is infected or exposed due to decay or injury. Each tooth is surrounded by an outer layer of tooth enamel, and this is where cavities begin. If they are not treated, the decay will gradually spread to penetrate the interior of the tooth. Once the pulp has been affected, it’s too late for a simple filling.
You are likely to feel a tooth that needs a root canal, as the sensitive nerve endings of a tooth are located in its interior. If you experience a dull, throbbing ache or lingering sensitivity to heat, cold, pressure, or air, do not hesitate to get in touch with us for treatment.
Most root canals are completed over the course of two visits to our office. During the first, the procedure will be completed and you can fully heal while we create the crown to restore the tooth in the time between appointments. After one to two weeks, you return to our office for the final restoration of the tooth.
The procedure for a root canal is completed in a series of steps:
You are likely to experience some discomfort, swelling, and minor bleeding after the initial root canal procedure. These side effects are completely normal -- you have just had oral surgery, after all. Follow our post-op instructions carefully: eat only soft foods, plan plenty of time to rest and relax, and take care when brushing and flossing. You will be back on your feet before you know it! If bleeding, discomfort, or swelling worsen or do not improve after several days, get in touch with us right away.
Are you dealing with an aching or damaged tooth? A root canal may be necessary to rescue it from extraction and keep your smile healthy and whole. Don’t wait to find out -- go ahead and contact us today.