In today’s blog, I would like to answer some common questions about root canals that I often get. Of course, we are always here if you have more questions.
WHAT IS A ROOT CANAL?
Every tooth is made up of 3 layers, the enamel is the white that you see, dentin is more yellowish layer, and in the center is the pulp. This layer is red and is filled with nerve and blood supply. When this layer is traumatized or infected by a bacteria or perhaps from a deep cavity, large filling broken tooth, or from trauma to the tooth, it can cause a range of problems. Pain, infection, swelling to name a few. Once this layer is infected then we must treat with a root canal.
WHEN DOES MY TOOTH NEED A ROOT CANAL?
The tooth is assessed, usually these teeth present with either pain or an abscess, like a pimple on the gums. Other tests and assessments along with X-rays are used to diagnose if a tooth needs a Root Canal.
- Lingering pain after drinking a hot or cold beverage that can last for minutes or hours
Constant dull, throbbing pain
- Tenderness when biting
- Abscess (pimple-like swelling) at the gums, possibly with pus coming out
- Difficulty sleeping and waking up from the pain
- Pain after a large filling or prior large filling
- Trauma to the tooth from injury or even due to orthodontic treatment
If you notice these symptoms, please contact us and we can further evaluate.
HOW IS THE PROCEDURE DONE?
We numb you up with local anesthetic and the tooth is isolated with a rubber dam. We also take a few X-rays during the procedure. We use rotary instruments to make it comfortable for you and to minimize chair time. Most are done within the same day.
CAN A ROOT CANAL FAIL?
A pulp chamber has a complex nerve system. Due to unforeseen circumstances, a tooth can have an accessory canal or altered anatomy that can give an unfavorable result. Infections can also occur due to poor oral health, the bacteria from heavy plaque can cause a reinfection. Poor restorations or leaving temporary fillings after getting a root canal can also re-infect the tooth. So along with a Root canal, it is imperative that it be restored well with a crown and not left with a temporary restoration.
WHAT IF I DON’T WANT TO DO THE ROOT CANAL?
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER ROOT CANAL TREATMENT?
Since this can be a long procedure where you are open for a while, and often a tooth is infected. It takes 2-3 days to feel better. After the procedure and when the numbness wears off, you may be sore and in pain. That is common and usually taking over the counter pain medication can help. If there is any extreme pain or swelling, it is imperative you give us a call.