Root Canal Q & A
What is a root canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure that’s done to save a damaged or infected tooth. During a root canal, your dentist drills into the root of the affected tooth and removes the infected nerve fibers and pulp. The tooth root is cleaned then resealed to prevent further damage.
Without a root canal, your infected tooth may require extraction or the infection can spread to other teeth.
What are the signs that I need a root canal?
In some cases, you may not notice any symptoms, but common signs that you need a root canal include:
- Tooth pain
- Sensitivity to hot and cold foods
- Swelling or tenderness
- Signs of periodontal disease
The best way to know if you need a root canal is to have a comprehensive dental evaluation.
How does a root canal procedure work?
Typically, a root canal requires one or two visits.
During your first appointment, your dentist drills a small hole in the top of the tooth and uses small, specialized instruments to remove diseased pulp and tissue from underneath the tooth. They clean the tooth and then fill the hole with a material that bonds to your tooth and seals the opening.
At your second visit, you’ll typically receive a crown or another type of restoration to protect the tooth from future damage.
What can I expect after a root canal treatment?
Root canals aren't painful. You may experience some minor discomfort after the local anesthesia wears off, but you can manage this with over-the-counter pain relievers. You may not be able to chew with the treated tooth until your permanent crown or restoration has been placed.
To maintain your results, practice good oral hygiene habits like brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits. In some cases, patients need a second root canal if the pain continues or signs of disease are still present. But most root canals are successful, and you can expect a pain-free, healthy smile.
To learn more about root canal treatment at Gentle Dental Family Care, call the office today or book an appointment online.