Root canals may have a bad reputation, but they shouldn’t! A root canal procedure is a standard dental treatment that many people need to preserve their oral health. We will look at what root canals are, what root canal procedures look like, and the benefits of a root canal. We will tell the truth about root canals! If you are considering a root canal or need one for dental health reasons, this article is for you.
What is a root canal treatment?
A root canal treatment is a dental procedure that involves the removal of the pulp from a tooth. The pulp of a tooth is the soft tissue inside that contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues. When this tissue becomes infected or inflamed, it can cause pain and other problems in the mouth. A root canal treatment removes the infected or inflamed pulp from the tooth, which stops the pain and other issues.
What happens during a root canal procedure?
Inside of your teeth, there are many different components. Sometimes, the pain and infection can happen inside your tooth, which means a dentist needs to get inside it to make it better. During a root canal procedure, our dentist will treat the root canal system and remove the dental pulp and nerve to clean and seal the inside of the tooth. Once complete, your tooth will feel better and function normally.
Do root canals hurt?
Root canals are not painful. Root canal specialists will remove infected or inflamed connective tissue from a tooth to stop the pain and other problems with oral health. A root canal is performed under local anesthesia, and you will not feel any pain during the procedure. Afterward, your tooth and adjacent teeth may be sensitive while it heals, but this should go away once healing is complete (usually within a few days).
Root Canal Recovery
After a root canal, you may feel a little discomfort and sensitivity. You can take over-the-counter medication to help with minor pain and an ice pack if the area feels irritated. Avoid eating for the first few hours after the root canal since your mouth may still be numb. Once the numbness wears off, stick to soft foods like soup, jello, pudding, applesauce, and mashed potatoes.
Also, be sure to stick to a daily oral hygiene routine. This should include brushing and flossing twice a day and sometimes after meals. You should visit your dentist twice a year for regular cleanings and oral screenings.
Signs You May Need a Root Canal
There are some signs that indicate you may need a root canal:
- Severe pain while chewing
- Pimples on the gums
- A cracked, chipped, or diseased tooth
- Sensitivity to hot or cold
- Swollen and tender gums
- Deep decay or dark gums
- Repeated dental procedures that aren’t helping your tooth pain
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to your dentist and see if root canal therapy is right for you.
Advantages of a Root Canal Treatment
Root canal therapy can either remove the tooth or save your natural tooth. There are many advantages root canal therapy can provide and protect your natural teeth.
- Restore chewing function: Your teeth, gums, jaw, and muscles of the jaw work together to effectively and efficiently chew your food. Replacing teeth can help with chewing, but your natural teeth are more efficient.
- Normal biting force and sensation: You will have a more efficient and effective bite compared to tooth replacements.
- Natural appearance: Your real teeth will always give you a more natural look. Fake teeth can help replace teeth and give you a somewhat natural look, but your real teeth will always look the most natural.
- Protecting surrounding teeth from wear or strain: When you have a root canal, and the infected pulp is removed, it can help stop the spread of infection and save other teeth from being damaged.
Do you see a dentist or endodontist for a root canal?
If you are in intense pain that doesn’t seem to go away on its own, there’s probably more going on than just a simple cavity. You may experience symptoms such as throbbing toothaches, tender gums, swelling near your teeth and gum line, or even fever. These are all signs of infections which means you may need a root canal.
A root canal is an endodontic treatment performed by either your general dentist or endodontist (a root canal specialist). Typically you will visit your general dentist, and they will assess your pain and teeth. They can then refer you to an endodontist who can perform the root canal.
How much does a root canal cost?
Root canal cost varies depending on the severity of the problem. Many dental insurance plans will cover a portion of the root canal treatment, so be sure to check with your provider before you begin treatment. Treating the natural tooth is usually cheaper than having a tooth extracted.
So what do root canals look like? In short, they can look like a healthy tooth: white, clean, and cavity-free. On the inside, though, they can be infected and painful until treated. Root canals may feel and sound scary, but they shouldn’t be. Root canal treatments are prevalent, and your dentist can talk you through your treatment options.
Do you think you may need endodontic treatment? Don’t just choose any dentist to take care of your teeth. The North Atlanta Family Dentistry team is here to help with your ongoing dental work. Contact us today and see how our dentists can relieve your pain without the stress.