Root canal treatments are specifically designed to relieve the tooth pain associated with an infected tooth root. Patients come in with pain, and often leave the procedure with less discomfort than before. However, if you’ve recently had a root canal treatment on one or more of your teeth, you might be experiencing discomfort following the procedure. Fortunately, there are things you can do at home to take care of it.
Are your gums sore, tender or swollen surrounding the affected tooth? This is likely the result of the tiny metal clips that affix a rubber dam around the tooth, protecting it and protecting your mouth. The clips are attached along the gum line, and can leave tiny bruises or sometimes small cuts in the soft gum tissue. This pain should alleviate within two days of the treatment.
Is the tooth itself sore? This is a common occurrence and is typically the result of an inflammation of the mouth tissues that encase the tooth root. The tools used by the endodontist to perform the procedure can irritate the tissues.
Both of these types of pain can be dealt with by several over-the-counter analgesics. The ones that are most recommended to treat dental pain are those that possess anti-inflammatory agents: naproxen sodium, ibuprofen or aspirin, etc. If you are also taking narcotics prescribed by your dentist, do not take any further medication, over-the-counter or prescription, until you have checked with your dentist. Dangerous reactions can occur.
If you have been prescribed antibiotics, do not stop until you have completed each recommended dose. This ensures that your tooth remains free of infection and can heal thoroughly.
Ask your endodontist if you have other concerns about treating your post-root canal treatment pain.
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Pain, sensitivity, and trouble eating or sleeping are only a few of the uncomfortable symptoms of a damaged tooth. Sometimes the inside portion of a tooth, or its pulp, becomes so damaged that action must be taken. It could come in the form of extracting the tooth or it might be able to be saved through root canal treatment.
Virtually every dentist recommends root canal therapy over tooth extraction. It’s almost always better to save your natural tooth. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a hole in your smile and the problems that accompany it.
A tooth can be damaged for a variety of reasons such as severe decay, trauma, or deep cavities. The damaged pulp contains nerves, which is one reason that many patients experience severe pain. Although dental fillings can remedy some cavities or decay, when the situation advances to the extent of harming the tooth pulp, fillings are not enough. Root canal treatment is usually the best way to repair the tooth without having to pull it.
A root canal procedure involves drilling into the tooth so that the pulp can be completely removed and the canal thoroughly cleaned. Then the area is filled with special material and sealed to prevent future damage. Often, a dental crown is placed on top of the restored tooth to provide added protection. This process alleviates any symptoms and give you back your fully functional, natural tooth.
If you were to opt for tooth extraction instead of root canal treatment, you’d be choosing a more invasive approach. The procedure can be intrusive, time consuming and costly. Recovery from tooth extraction can be uncomfortable and take longer than root canal therapy. Careful oral hygiene is necessary after extraction to avoid infection or complications. You’ll also be left with an unappealing hole in your smile that can make eating and speaking more difficult, and your other teeth will likely start moving into that empty space.
To determine the best treatment for you, consult a reputable dentist. You’ll learn about the options and how root canal therapy may be the best choice in restoring your oral health and your smile.
Sometimes a tooth is so severely damaged that the only way to save it is with root canal treatment. There is no reason to turn and run if your dentist advises this procedure. The treatment has advanced to the point that it’s often compared to getting a filling. There are certain steps that will be performed as part of nearly every root canal procedure.
X-rays may be taken as part of the diagnosis process or to determine the extent of damage. Once the dentist is ready to begin treatment, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the area throughout the procedure.
A rubber dam will be placed around the tooth to separate the area from the rest of the mouth, and to keep it dry from saliva. The tooth will be opened, often using a small dental drill, to gain access to the pulp inside the tooth. The damaged pulp will be removed, and if there is an abscess it will be drained.
Cleaning and filling
After the pulp is eliminated, the dentist will thoroughly clean the area. The root canal will be widened if needed to create an adequate space for the filling. Depending on the extent of the damage, this step of the process can take up to several hours to complete or it can be spread over more than one visit. A temporary filling is sometimes used to seal the area between visits. If infection is present, the dentist may prescribe antibiotics.
The temporary filling will be removed and the permanent filling placed to fully seal the tooth and prevent future infection. If the tooth has been filled at the root, the risk of breaking is higher so a crown may be recommended for protection.
Crowns help prevent further damage or fracturing. If needed, the tooth will be reduced somewhat to allow space for the crown. It will be held in place securely with dental cement.
After root canal treatment, the tooth should survive for many years. The procedure may be repeated if re-infection occurs.
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A tooth that has been damaged by decay or trauma may need endodontic treatment, also called root canal therapy, in order to save the tooth. Although it may sound like a scary procedure, advances in dentistry have made it a much less painful or upsetting process than it used to be. This treatment is worth it to restore your smile as naturally as possible.
How do you know you might need endodontics? You may experience pain in the tooth, sensitivity to hot or cold foods or beverages, or swelling in the area. Severe cases may have a discharge of pus near the tooth. However, not all cases of a badly damaged tooth result in noticeable symptoms. That’s one reason it’s important to maintain regular checkups with your dentist, who will pick up on problems with a tooth that you may not realize is damaged. Examination and testing such as X-rays can help diagnose a tooth that is in dire need of repair.
When possible, dentists strive to save your real tooth. Sometimes the best way to do that is through root canal therapy, which involves removing the damaged tooth pulp from the interior of the tooth. Using local anesthesia to make you comfortable, the dentist or endodontist uses special tools to enter the root canal, remove the pulp, and clean the area thoroughly. Once the tooth is ready, a crown is usually placed on top of the existing tooth to protect it from future damage and to complete the process. Sometimes antibiotics are prescribed if an infection was present to help ensure that you are in the best of health.
Endodontic treatment is often compared by patients to simply getting a regular tooth filling. The procedure is usually completed in one office visit and it won’t be long before you are back to your normal routine, with a fully restored natural tooth in your smile.
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Have you been told that you may need a root canal treatment? Are you worried because of things you’ve heard in the media about how “awful” a root canal is? Don’t worry about what you’ve heard; endodontic therapy isn’t at all what you’d think. Let’s debunk some myths!
Myth #1: Root canal treatment is very painful. This isn’t true! In fact, a root canal treatment is performed specifically to relieve a patient’s pain, not to cause more. After a root canal treatment, you might feel some tenderness, but the pain you felt when the damaged tissue and infection was still inside the tooth will be completely gone. Once the swelling from the procedure has gone down, you will be able to use your new tooth exactly the way you could use your natural tooth when it was completely healthy.
Myth #2: Root canal therapy or other endodontic work can lead to disease elsewhere in the body. Another falsehood! Root canal treatments don’t spread disease to the rest of the body, rather, they remove infected tissue and bacteria from the body, preventing the affected tooth from becoming re-infected.
Myth #3: Extraction is better than root canal treatment. Extraction is not preferred to root canal treatment! Whenever possible, it’s preferred to keep your natural tooth. Your natural tooth’s roots stimulate and preserve the bone of your jaw, as well as providing adequate support to the surrounding teeth. Dental implants or dental bridges can be problematic, both in function and in dietary restrictions. In fact, an extraction can lead to several prolonged appointments to perform replacement procedures, treatments that are far more involved than a root canal treatment.
Endodontic treatment is an extremely common dental procedure that can provide durable, long-lasting restorations that will function as your natural tooth did. If you believe you may need a root canal treatment, talk to your endodontist or dentist today to see how this successfully proven treatment can help you and your smile needs.
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Root canal therapy is a painless procedure performed when decay has caused enough damage to a tooth that the tooth is dying or has already died. During treatment, your dentist or endodontist removes the diseased or damaged pulp from the tooth and then refills the tooth cavity. To ensure a successful and pleasant treatment, here are some basic do’s and don’ts to follow:
Do take any medication your dentist has prescribed for you to take prior to root canal therapy.
Don’t anticipate pain; be calm and relaxed during your treatment.
Do expect mild discomfort for 2-3 days following the procedure. Apply an ice pack and sleep with your head elevated to minimize swelling.
Don’t skip on taking prescribed pain medications, even if you are not experiencing extreme pain.
Do avoid biting on hard foods or meddling with the affected tooth during the course of treatment.
Don’t drink excessively hot or cold beverages until the completion of treatment.
Do continue normal brushing on the root canal treated tooth.
Don’t smoke or drink alcohol within 24 hours of root canal therapy.
Do eat a soft diet for several days and avoid chewing on the treated tooth until a permanent restoration is placed.
Don’t delay having the treated tooth capped with a crown or other restoration to avoid fracture or additional damage, causing failure of your root canal therapy.
Do contact your dental professional immediately should you have any complications or questions during your recovery, and make sure to keep any follow-up appointments scheduled by your dentist or endodontist.
Root canal therapy has a 95% success rate. By following these simple guidelines, you can help to ensure a positive result from your root canal therapy and enjoy many more years of a healthy smile.
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