Root canals are probably one of the most misunderstood treatments in the world of dentistry. This procedure has often received a bad reputation since many patients associate it with pain. If a root canal has been diagnosed for your tooth, it’s likely that you are in pain because your tooth is infected. However, the truth is that root canal therapy actually relieves your pain and eliminates your infection. Here’s what you should know about root canals.
Root canal therapy is typically recommended when decay has reached the root of your tooth and is causing an infection. A dental infection results in constant and severe pain that isn’t alleviated with over-the-counter pain medication. An injury or trauma to your tooth may also require a root canal to preserve it.
It’s important to understand that if your tooth is infected, it will not go away without treatment. A dental infection will progress, could affect neighboring teeth, and can result in tooth loss if it’s not treated. If you are experiencing constant and significant dental pain, or swelling, it is important that you contact your dentist right away.
Modern dentistry has made many advances and developed technology that helps dentists make root canal therapy comfortable and pain-free. Remember, it is your infection that is causing your discomfort. Root canal therapy removes the diseased tissue from inside your tooth and eliminates your infection.
Your dentist will use a local anesthetic to ensure that you don’t feel anything during the procedure, and as an added bonus, the anesthetic also alleviates your pain immediately. Endodontic tools made of nickel-titanium make the procedure more comfortable since they are flexible and move easily through the canals of your tooth. Most patients are pleasantly surprised at how comfortable root canal therapy can be.
It is normal to experience some tenderness for the first couple of days after root canal therapy, but you should not be experiencing the constant or severe pain you had before. When your tooth is healed, you should return to your dentist to have a permanent filling or crown placed in order to strengthen your tooth and ensure you have all the function you had prior to your infection or trauma.
Did you know that many root canals can be avoided? Tooth decay can actually be detected early on by your dentist during your routine six month examination. If you are proactive about treating your tooth, the decay can be removed and your tooth restored with a dental filling, which is less complicated than root canal therapy.
An excellent home care routine and regular visits with your dentist every six months helps you avoid more significant problems in the future.
If you or loved one is experiencing dental pain or sensitivity, or if it’s time to schedule your next preventive checkup, contact your dentist today to schedule your next appointment.