- Why Would I Need a Root Canal?
- Here are some signs that you might need a root canal
- How a Root Canal Works
- Relieve Tooth Pain with Root Canal Therapy
- Preparing for Your Root Canal
- What Happens After a Root Canal
- Root Canal Risks
- What Damages a Tooth?
Root canals have gotten, to put it mildly, a very bad reputation over the years as a procedure dentists only use to torture their patients. Fortunately for you, that couldn’t be further from the truth! Root canals are actually one of the best tools Dr. John Krell has to relieve severe dental pain and save teeth that would otherwise need to be extracted. We typically used them to treat teeth that have suffered damage to their inner nerve, and thanks to modern dentistry and sedation techniques, it’s now a painless procedure.
Why Would I Need a Root Canal?
Most of the time, a cavity is limited to just your outer enamel, and we can typically fix that with just a filling. However, if it is left alone for a long time, it can easily reach the innermost chamber of your tooth where the sensitive nerve resides. This part of the tooth can also become damaged due to a traumatic injury. In either case, at this point, a patient will often be in severe pain.
Here are some signs that you might need a root canal:
- Severe dental pain in one tooth
- Swelling or redness in the gums near a tooth
- A bump on the gums near a tooth
- Pain when biting down on a tooth
How a Root Canal Works
If we decide that a root canal is the best treatment for you, it will involve 4 basic steps:
- Your doctor will create a small hole in your tooth to reach the inner chamber.
- They will remove any damaged/infected tissue.
- They will fill the area with a sanitizing material called gutta percha.
- At a follow-up visit, they will repair the tooth using a dental crown.
Relieve Tooth Pain with Root Canal Therapy
Cavities are holes in the teeth that are the result of tooth decay. They develop when harmful acids in the mouth destroy the outer layer of the tooth. Cavities can affect any surface of the tooth, and they vary in severity, causing extreme pain in the process. When a cavity is left untreated for an extended amount of time, or when the damage is beyond what can be repaired with other more conservative restoration methods, you may need a root canal to save the tooth and eliminate the pain caused by an inflamed tooth pulp. This treatment can also help relieve symptoms caused by dental trauma, a cracked tooth, or other types of dental damage. Often, patients find that the pain experienced before a root canal, in addition to the anxiety associated with the treatment, is worse than the root canal itself. The procedure involves removing the damaged and infected tooth material, cleansing the area thoroughly, and filling it. A crown is placed over the treatment area during a secondary visit.
Preparing for Your Root Canal
Dr. Krell will let you know how to prepare for your root canal treatment. You may need to stop or start taking certain medications or adjust the dosage of your current medications. In addition, if you smoke, you will need to stop before your surgery and for the duration of your recovery. Root canals can take 30 to 60 minutes; however, this estimate can change based on the extent of damage, or the number of teeth that require treatment.
What Happens After a Root Canal
After your treatment, you may have some sensitivity or discomfort that may last a few days. These symptoms can be managed with either prescribed medications or over-the-counter pain relievers. However, the intense pain that may have necessitated the root canal in the first place should be eliminated following your procedure. You will need to keep your teeth and gums healthy following treatment to avoid the need for future root canals. This can be achieved by establishing an excellent dental hygiene routine. Dr. Krell can provide product recommendations to help get you started.
Root Canal Risks
Risks of the procedure include:
- Tooth loss
- Nerve damage
- Fractured tooth
Choosing a skilled dentist, such as Dr. Krell, for your restoration can help minimize your risk of complications from root canal therapy.
What Damages a Tooth?
Poor oral hygiene: Maintaining good oral health requires a good oral hygiene routine. This includes daily brushing, flossing, and use of fluoride. Not implementing a solid dental routine allows plaque to build up on the surfaces of the teeth and gumline, which can lead to periodontitis and tooth loss, if not addressed.
Sugary diet: Eating foods that are high in sugar and starch can create an environment in which oral bacteria thrive. Bacteria in the mouth can feed on the sugars contained in foods such as pasta, sodas, fruit juices, and candy, allowing them to produce acids that can damage the teeth.
Family history of dental decay: Some people are more prone to developing cavities than others. If you have a family history of tooth decay, you may need more frequent dental appointments to manage your oral health.
If you are experiencing severe tooth pain, it is time to make an appointment with Dr. Krell. He can evaluate your teeth and determine the best treatment option to help relieve your pain and restore your oral health. Contact us today or request a consultation online.