Root Canal An Overview
Most patients dread the thought of needing a root canal. The root canal procedure is often depicted in movies and television as being extremely painful and traumatic. In fact, the root canal procedure is no more painful than having a dental filling.
The pain associated with a root canal actually comes from the infection itself. A root canal procedure can quickly and easily alleviate the pain.
The Structure of a Tooth
The term “root canal” actually refers to the natural cavity at the center of the tooth. The tooth’s nerve is located inside the root canal, surrounded by soft tissue called pulp.
If the tooth is damaged or has decay, bacteria and debris can enter into the root canal area and cause an infection. In severe cases, an abscess can occur which requires immediate treatment to avoid infection spreading to the rest of the body.
Root Canal FAQs
Is it better to remove a damaged tooth or get a root canal?
We recommend getting a root canal before deciding to remove the tooth altogether in order to have great oral health for years to come. Having as many healthy natural teeth as possible helps prevent jawbone deterioration, premature facial sagging, and more. They are your first line of defense against many dental issues that arise with missing teeth.
What kind of anesthesia is used for a root canal?
Getting a root canal treatment is similar to getting a dental filling. Local anesthesia is used to numb your mouth. It is usually applied as a numbing gel without the use of needles. You will not feel pain or discomfort, but will still be awake and aware of what’s going on.
Can you get an infection after a root canal?
Yes, infections are still possible after a root canal if you do not follow post-treatment instructions and neglect your oral health. A root canal and crown will protect your tooth to a certain extent, but it is up to you to maintain great oral health and routine visits to the dentist.
How do you know if your root canal is infected?
When a root canal gets infected patients may notice a green or yellow discharge coming from the area. They may also notice that the area is red and swollen. The area may also feel warm. In some extreme cases patients’ faces and neck may be swollen and numb or tender. If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms after having a root canal reach out to your dentist as soon as possible.
Is it OK to take ibuprofen before root canal?
Many patients tell their patients to take ibuprofen prior to coming in for their root canal. This can help with swelling and relieve some pain throughout the procedure. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory and works to reduce pain.
Can they put me to sleep for a root canal?
It is not recommended to be sedated for a root canal. In most cases this only puts a patient’s body through unwarranted stress. Patients may wish to be sedate if they suffer from extreme dental anxiety, or have special needs. In most of these cases nitrous oxide will be used.