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Posted on: March 15, 2022
Root Canals Aren’t Painful and Can Save Your Permanent Teeth
Taking care of your teeth when you’re an adult is important. No matter how well you do, though, cavities can still develop sometimes. If you don’t treat cavities, they can eventually reach the pulp of your teeth and cause infections. Tooth pulp infections are not only painful but can also result in losing your teeth altogether without treatment.
Thankfully, you don’t have to lose your teeth if you get a root canal. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about root canals. One of the biggest is that they’re painful. Let’s take a few minutes to fully understand root canals.
What Is a Root Canal?
Put simply, a root canal is a dental procedure in which a dentist removes infected pulp from a tooth. Typically, tooth pulp becomes infected when a cavity goes untreated or the tooth itself sustains damage.
The good news is that the root canal procedure is practically painless. Dentists use local anesthetics to numb, not only the gums around the tooth, but also the nerves. The end result is a painless procedure for treating an infected tooth.
Why Are Root Canals So Common?
Root canals are a common procedure, which is why there’s virtually no risk to having one done. That said, why do people need root canals in the first place?
The main reason is because of poor dental hygiene and lack of dental visits. People simply don’t go to the dentist as often as they should. As a result, cavities go untreated and eventually grow into bigger problems.
The goal of getting a root canal is to save a tooth that has damaged or infected pulp. During the process of a root canal, the dentist removes the infected pulp and cleans the inside of your tooth.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffer from tooth pain, you owe it to yourself to visit your dentist. Only a dentist can let you know if you need a root canal or not. If you do, and you get treatment quickly, you can save your tooth and avoid having it taken out.
Is Getting a Root Canal the Best Option?
In most cases, getting a root canal is the best option. Usually, the only other option when tooth pulp becomes infected or damaged is to remove the tooth. Dentists generally want to do whatever they can to save your original teeth, though.
Are you still unsure if a root canal is right for you? Here are some questions that you can ask the dentist to ease your mind. Getting the answers to these questions should help you determine if a root canal is the best option:
- Do root canals hurt?
- How long does it take to recover from having a root canal?
- Can you walk me through the root canal procedure so that I know what to expect?
- Is there any risk to having a root canal?
- Are root canals expensive?
- Will my dental insurance cover the cost of a root canal?
Warning Signs That You May Need a Root Canal
Knowing if you need a root canal isn’t something that you can determine yourself. Only a professional dentist can let you know for sure if a root canal is right for you. That said, there are some warning signs that you can look out for that might indicate that you need to visit a dentist to see if you need a root canal.
Severe tooth pain is a common symptom of needing a root canal. Sometimes, the pain isn’t very severe but doesn’t seem to let up. Also, you should be checking your mouth for swollen or red gums.
Lastly, pay close attention when eating or drinking warm and cold foods and beverages. If you feel a painful sensation, it’s time to see your dentist. Once again, the sooner that you see the dentist, the better.
A Quick Look at the Root Canal Procedure
Your responsibility, when it comes to getting a root canal, boils down to making an appointment. After that, your dentist will handle the rest of the procedure. The good news is that a root canal is a quick procedure that’s unlikely to cause pain.
Once you go in for your root canal, the dentist will start by numbing the area with an anesthetic injection. You may feel some discomfort for a few seconds.
Next, the dentist will make an entry point into your tooth. This makes it easy to reach the tooth pulp. From there, the dentist will remove the infected pulp and clean the inside of your tooth. Keep in mind that, during this whole process, your tooth and surrounding gums are completely numb.
With the tooth cleaned, your dentist will restore it to working condition with a filling compound. After that, a temporary crown will be placed on your tooth to seal it. This temporary crown is only in place until you return for a follow-up appointment to get a permanent crown.
Root Canal Aftercare
Thankfully, the aftercare for a root canal isn’t too extreme. In fact, you’ll return home after the procedure is done.
For the next few days, you’re likely to experience a little tingling and tenderness around the treated tooth. That’s normal and indicates that the healing process is beginning. For any discomfort, you can take over-the-counter pain medications.
For the first few days, you should avoid eating or chewing hard on your temporary crown. Once you get the permanent crown put on, you can go back to eating normally.
During the healing process, it’s important to keep flossing and brushing as well, even around the affected tooth. Just brush and floss the tooth lightly to avoid causing any irritation.
Schedule a Follow-up Appointment
While waiting for your root canal to heal, you’ll schedule an appointment with your dentist for a follow-up. This follow-up is to ensure that the root canal is healing properly and to get your permanent crown put on.
Get rid of your tooth pain today. Call us to schedule an appointment for a dental exam.