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If you’ve been told you require a root canal, don’t worry—you’re not alone. Millions of Americans undergo this dental procedure, which eliminates infected material to relieve pain. Because the root canal contains nerves and blood vessels, an infected tooth can become extremely troublesome. If you have a tooth that is at risk of needing a root canal, read on to learn more about what causes this type of pain.
Everything You Need to Know About Root Canals
Here is everything you need to know about root canals and why you need it:
The Culprits Behind a Root Canal
The most common causes of needing root canal therapy include:
- Decay: Decay penetrating the outer layers of teeth can exacerbate root canal pain.
- Damage: Cracks or chips in the teeth can also worsen this condition.
- Disease: Your tooth pulp is at risk of infection if there is severe decay, trauma, recent dental treatment, fillings, or cracks.
How Do You Know You Need a Root Canal?
Some individuals will mistakenly identify all pain as indications of a root canal. While this isn’t always true, some severe signs of infection might require one if:
- You feel pain when eating or putting mild pressure on the area.
- Your teeth are overly sensitive to hot and cold materials even after the stimuli have been removed.
- You’re noticing small, pimple-like bumps on the gums.
- You see darkening in the tooth.
- There is tenderness and swelling of the gums.
What to Expect During a Root Canal Procedure
A root canal undergoes multiple steps that involve removing the infected pulp, sealing off the nerve to protect against potential complications. During your procedure:
- Your dental professional will x-ray the area to determine the extent of the infection.
- They will apply a local anesthetic to numb the area, placing a rubber dam around the tooth to keep it dry and clean.
- Your dentist will then drill an access hole into the tooth, carefully removing the damaged nerve and pulp tissue with specialized tools.
- After removing the infected material, your dentist will either apply a temporary filling or immediately apply a customized crown. They might incorporate another type of restoration method or choose to leave the tooth open to drain out additional material.
Root Canal Aftercare
If you aren’t immediately fitted with a crown, you’ll typically undergo an additional application procedure within a week or two. In that week, you might experience mild pain or sensitivity. Ensure that you adhere to a thorough oral care routine and other dental recommendations. Use soft-bristled toothbrushes and products specifically designed for sensitivity.
Hope by now you know everything you need to know about root canals. If you’re worried about your procedure, don’t! Most processes deliver a 95% success rate, with preserved teeth lasting a lifetime. Prevent the need for future procedures with twice-daily brushing, flossing, and regular trips to the dentist.
For a tooth restoration procedure that will leave you all smiles, consult with our licensed dental professionals at Southview Dentistry. We prioritize comfort and work closely with each patient to ensure care at the highest level.