You have been told that you’re in need of a root canal in the near future to save one of your teeth, but don’t they cause unbearable pain? Fortunately, your root canal therapy won’t be so traumatic like it is portrayed in old movies and TV shows. With modern dental techniques and anesthetics, your procedure shouldn’t be too uncomfortable. Read on to learn more about what you can expect from your root canal as well as some aftercare tips.
What Is a Root Canal?
Root canal therapy is a very common procedure that saves millions of teeth every year. During this treatment, your dentist will drill an opening in the tooth to remove the infected pulp and nerve at the center. Afterwards, they clean out the inside and seal it to prevent future infections. This prevents the infection from spreading to other areas in the mouth and causing more serious, painful issues. Without root canal therapy, an extraction would likely be necessary.
What Can You Expect Afterwards?
As soon as your dentist finishes your root canal. You can expect to have some sensitivity and soreness in the area. After all, a root canal is a procedure, so your mouth will need some time to heal and bounce back. Once your body undergoes the natural healing process, be sure that you are following your dentist’s instructions in order to prevent pain and reduce the risk of something going wrong. Try taking over-the-counter medication. Stick to softer foods to avoid biting down too hard.
Once your root canal is done, the tooth will be sealed with a filling. If this is a temporary filling, you shouldn’t chew on the tooth until it is fully restored by your dentist. In the meantime, you can expect a thin layer of filling to wear off and your tooth may feel sensitive and particularly fragile. The swelling should subside after a few days. If inflammation has not gone down in the next few days, give your dentist a call. There may be an issue.
You will need to return to your dentist in order to have your tooth fully restored during a second appointment. Teeth that have endured a root canal almost always have a filling or significant decay. This means that a crown or another tooth restoration needs to be placed in order keep your tooth safe in the future.
You don’t need to fear your root canal. With modern dental technology, your smile will be good as new in no time!
About the Author
Dr. John W. Verbeyst is an experienced dentist who has been working in the field for more than 24 years. He earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University and enjoys keeping up with continuing education courses. Currently, he is an avid member of the American Dental Association and Rhode Island Dental Association. To learn more about root canals or to schedule an appointment at his office in North Kingstown, visit his website or call (401) 295-5511.