When you hear “root canal,” you probably aren’t thinking about feeling relaxed. But despite their bad reputation, root canals can actually provide a lot of comfort without putting you through additional pain that you’re probably already experiencing! Here’s what you need to know about root canal therapy.
Who Needs a Root Canal?
You would commonly require a root canal when the pulp, which is the soft layer behind the tooth’s enamel and dentin, becomes infected. The pulp is usually infected because of longtime decay, or when the delicate part of your teeth is exposed due to a chipped tooth, defective crown, or damage. Additionally, you may require a root canal due to an abscess that can develop from repeat procedures in the same area.
Signs of Infection
If you are experiencing swollen and tender gums, tooth discoloration, sensitivity, and pain, chances are you may have an infected tooth. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your dentist right away.
Root Canal Procedure
First, your dentist will take x-rays and thoroughly examine your tooth to determine that a root canal is the correct procedure for you. If it is, they will administer a numbing agent to the area so you won’t feel any pain during your procedure (alternatively, you can opt for sedation dentistry if you prefer to be asleep during your procedure!). They will then make a small opening in your infected tooth, clean all of the infected tissue out of the area, and fill the area with a substance called gutta-percha to act as a replacement pulp. Lastly, they will place a filling or dental crown over your tooth to seal up the root canal.
Root Canal Recovery
You may experience some discomfort, pain, and swelling in the days following your procedure, but other than that, your tooth should be back to full and normal functionality. If you experience excessive sensitivity, pain, or swelling, it’s best to contact your dentist right away.
Don’t be afraid of a root canal! Even though they seem scary, they actually help spare you from the immense pain you’re probably already feeling from your infected tooth. Contact our team at Jones Creek Family Dentistry to learn more!