If you’re experiencing pain in your tooth or gums, it may be a sign that you need a root canal. When a tooth becomes infected or if decay has crept into the nerve of a tooth, a root canal is usually necessary. In days of old, even the mention of the words root canal seemed like a scary proposition, but this has long been outdated thinking and a completely inaccurate representation of what the procedure is like today.
Though it may sound intimidating, a root canal can actually be a lifesaver – when it comes to saving your natural teeth, that is. Eliminating the decay or inflamed pulp in the affected tooth keeps your mouth healthy and free of infection, while allowing the natural tooth to stay in place rather than having to be extracted. Maintaining your natural teeth is always the optimal goal whenever possible so you can continue to enjoy the look, feel and function of your beautiful smile.
What’s Involved with a Root Canal?
If your evaluation determines that you do need a root canal, the procedure may be thought of as somewhat like a deep cleaning for the inside of your tooth, instead of the outside. A small hole is made in the affected tooth so the infected or inflamed pulp can be removed from the tooth chamber. This interior space is then cleaned, disinfected and filled with a material called gutta percha that replaces the pulp that was removed. The tooth is sealed to prevent future infection and then finally restored with a dental crown or filling that protects the tooth and restores it to normal functioning.
Soon after the procedure, you will be able to resume eating and drinking just like before this experience with little to no residual side effects, pain or need for ongoing special care.
Are Root Canals Painful?
Thanks to modern advances in equipment and treatment techniques, having a root canal need not be any more unpleasant than having a cavity filled. Local anesthetic is used during the procedure as well to aid in your comfort. You may be under the impression that recovery will be extended, similar to what can be experienced with a tooth extraction, but most patients actually find that recovery is minimal and a return to work and normal activities is possible even on the same day.
That said, it is typical to feel some mild after-effects such as tenderness, sensitivity and aching for a few days after your procedure. Some patients also experience a sore jaw or bruise-like feeling at the site of the anesthesia injection. Light doses of over-the-counter pain medication and rinsing with warm salt water can ease the discomfort. In the rare case these symptoms do not subside and you experience increasing pain, contact our office immediately.
Find Out if You Need a Root Canal
Don’t wait any longer to find out if you need a root canal so you can put the pain behind you. Our experienced and caring team is committed to providing excellent patient care and we’re ready to help find the best solution for you, all while in a relaxed and comfortable environment. Contact us at Smile Shack today by calling 631-928-7500 or click to schedule an appointment online.