If you need a root canal, you may have questions about the procedure. After all, this procedure is well-known as less than enjoyable, thanks to the phrase, “I’d rather get a root canal than blank.” Thankfully, getting a root canal is not as unpleasant as you think and can be crucial to maintaining dental health. Let’s look at four things you need to know about root canals.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a way to preserve your tooth. Dental trauma, including deep cavities, can impact the nerve inside your tooth. You may be a good candidate for a root canal if you have a severely damaged tooth, including one that’s cracked or has a deep infection (called an abscess).
A root canal is a way to remove the root and pulp within a tooth while keeping the tooth itself intact. This not only lets you keep your original tooth, but it can also help prevent or treat infection and reduce dental pain.
What to Expect During a Root Canal
It can take up to two visits for your dentist to complete a root canal. At the first visit, your dentist checks the tooth using X-rays. These X-rays allow them to see the source of the infection or invisible dental trauma. Once they’ve identified the basis of the infection or trauma or determined that you need a root canal, they may schedule another appointment or do the root canal the same day.
During a root canal, your dentist removes any infected or decaying tissue and the pulp and nerve within the tooth. They may clean the cavity with antibacterial medication to prevent further infection. Then, they seal the remaining space to prevent another infection. With a root canal, you can avoid a dental extraction while still treating the source of your dental pain.
Do Root Canals Hurt?
Your dentist will use localized anesthetic to numb the area before performing a root canal. This ensures you are kept comfortable and pain-free during the procedure. After a root canal, you may experience some mild discomfort. However, you can treat this pain with over-the-counter pain medication.
If you have an ongoing infection, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics, which you should take as directed. If you experience swelling, oozing, severe pain, or any other signs of infection after a root canal, contact your dentist immediately.
Average Recovery Time from a Root Canal
You should be able to chew normally after a root canal; however, be careful not to drink hot or overly cold beverages while your mouth is still numb. Your dentist may place a temporary filling while waiting for a permanent crown. If this is the case, follow all dental care instructions while you wait for your permanent crown and filling.
If you have questions about root canals or want to schedule an appointment, call Artistic Smiles at (305) 271-3333. Our team of trained dentists would be happy to answer your questions or help schedule an appointment.