Root Canal Therapy
When severe decay or damage affect a tooth, root canal therapy is the last option before its extraction is necessary. While root canals are associated with being severely painful, options in anesthesia and sedation make the process a breeze. Keep reading to learn more about the common restorative treatment available from the team at Applegate Dental.
Why Do I Need a Root Canal?
Root canal therapy is necessary when infection or decay has reached the pulp of the tooth, or the part commonly referred to as the “nerve.” An untreated cavity will continue to decay until it reaches the pulp. A crack or break in the tooth allows bacteria to seep into its interior, causing infection.
Your tooth’s pulp may be infected if you experience sensitivity to heat, cold, or sweets, or if you feel pain when you bite down on the tooth. A tooth requiring root canal therapy often becomes discolored, and a pimple-like bump may form on the gum below the tooth.
Do not delay seeking treatment if you suspect you have a decayed or infected tooth.
What Happens During Root Canal Therapy?
The length of your root canal depends on the severity of your infection. Your dentist may prescribe antibiotic therapy to begin healing before the endodontic treatment. Most root canals are completed in one to two visits.
Many people associate root canal therapy with discomfort, but it is usually the pain leading up to the procedure that causes the real issue. With anesthesia and sedation available at Applegate Dental, you are sure to relax your way through your endodontic treatment.
To begin the procedure, your dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the area. Then the interior of the tooth is reached through a small hole, and all infected tissue is carefully removed. Once the tooth has been cleaned out and disinfected, it is refilled.
In the same visit or a follow up appointment, a temporary/permanent crown or filling is placed to restore the strength of the tooth and prevent further decay.
Your dentist will discuss your treatment plan with you in depth, including how long you can expect it to take, and whether or not you will need to wear a temporary restoration.
Following Your Root Canal
If your root canal is carried out over two visits to the dentist, you will wear a temporary filling between appointments. Be careful with this restoration, as it was not meant to withstand extreme force or pressure. Try to limit chewing to the other side of your mouth, and avoid chewy, sticky, and crunchy foods altogether until your tooth has been completely restored.
Right after your root canal, you will experience the side effects common to any oral procedure. Follow your doctor’s directions carefully to minimize bleeding, swelling, and discomfort. Take all pain medication as prescribed and maintain a nutritious soft foods diet until you feel comfortable eating regularly again.
Questions? Contact Applegate Dental Today
If you have questions regarding a recent or upcoming root canal, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Applegate Dental. And don’t forget you can prevent tooth decay with regular visits to the dentist! Request an appointment for a preventive checkup and cleaning today.