While most people associate having a root canal to discomfort and pain, modern technology and the use of anesthetics make this procedure typically pain free, safe, quick and an excellent way to save the natural tooth. However, to avoid having a root canal, anyone with a toothache should see a dentist help prevent the infection from getting worse and spreading across the tooth root system.
What is a root canal?
A root canal refers to the treatment to save and repair an infected or damaged tooth. The process involves getting rid of the damaged pulp area of the tooth, cleaning, disinfecting, filling and sealing it.
Why do you need the Tooth Pulp removed?
When a tooth pulp or tissue is damaged, it breaks and bacteria to start to spread within the pulp chamber. If not removed, the decayed debris and bacteria may cause infection.
The most common infection is known as abscess. Aside from the abscess, an infection on the root canal can cause:
-Bone loss around the root tip.
-Drainage issues extending from the root.
-Swelling that may spread to other areas of the body including the neck and face.
What causes a root canal?
The common causes of root canal include tooth decay, cracks or chips on the tooth and diseases like trauma to the tooth.
Signs that a root canal is needed
Not every tooth pain is an indicator that a root canal is needed. However, the following infections may lead to a root canal.
a. Teeth pain: If you experience serious tooth pain when eating or chewing something, it is an indicator that you need to visit a dentist.
b. Sensitivity: Most people have sensitive teeth, and just because your teeth are sensitive is not a recipe for a root canal. However, those who require root canal are the ones who experience sensitivity even after the cold or hot element is removed.
c. Gum inflammation: In most cases, it is the tooth that shows the symptoms, however, the gum may also show some signs. This is so especially when the gum is painful, swollen or have a raised bump on them.
What to expect during the process
If you have a discomfort with your teeth, you need to see a dentist who will schedule for a root canal procedure. Besides, there are a number of steps that occur after the few office visits:
1. X-ray: If your dentist suspects that you may need a root canal, they will first examine the tooth to determine where the decay is.
2. Anesthesia: Once the decayed area is determined, a local root canal sedation is carried out to the affected tooth. The sedation contrary to the popular belief helps reduce the pain.
3. Pulpectomy: An opening is created and the affected tooth pulp is removed.
4. Filing: Once the opening is created, the pulp is then filled with gutta-percha, and then carefully sealed off.
What to expect after root canal
For the first few days, the tooth may feel insensitive due to natural tissue inflammation. Mostly this happens if there was infection or pain before the procedure was performed.
However, the sensitivity pain can be controlled by over the counter medicine such as ibuprofen.
Root canal Aftercare
After a root canal procedure, you may experience some sensitivity and pain. Ensure you follow a regular oral care routine. Through this, you will maintain your crown and avoid future tooth pain. However, if you notice any increased sensitivity after the root canal, trying using soft oral care products like toothbrushes specifically for a sensitive tooth.