What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a special procedure used to treat a severely infected tooth. It effectively preserves a tooth that has succumbed to infection or soon will. Although the treated tooth is no longer living, the root canal procedure allows you to maintain it and the chewing ability it provides.
Who Makes a Good Candidate?
Determining whether a root canal is the ideal treatment for any given situation is not an exact science. It requires a thorough examination and diagnosis that takes into account the result of X-ray images as well as a complete assessment of the patient’s pain.
When a tooth becomes infected, it is sometimes possible for it to recover. However, there is such a thing as a “point of no return” for this kind of infection – immediate action is required to save a tooth. Once the window of treatment closes, a root canal is necessary.
Some factors that a dentist will consider include:
Type of Pain
Although many people experience some tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, especially with age, lingering pain suggests a more serious problem. Substantial infection of the pulp is usually indicated by pain that lasts an hour or more after exposure to extremes in temperature.
Positional and Spontaneous Pain
Pain that arises suddenly with no stimulus is more likely to be the result of an irreversible tooth infection. This is also true of tooth pain that occurs when you lie down: This typically suggests the presence of an abscess, a hole in the jawbone that is maintained by infection.
The Root Canal Procedure
The purpose of a root canal procedure is to remove the infected pulp from the center portion of a damaged tooth and replace it with an inert substance. This allows the tooth to maintain all of its normal functions, but it will no longer be capable of detecting hot or cold.
For a root canal to be completely successful, the dentist must drill into the infected tooth and completely scrape out the infected tissue. Afterwards, the space must be securely sealed. A dental crown should be added as soon as possible, but this can occur in a subsequent visit.
A dental crown is a “cap” made of porcelain or a similar material that goes over the entire visible surface of the tooth. It reinforces the tooth and protects any structural weaknesses, restoring it.
Root Canal Recovery Process
After a root canal, the patient should expect mild pain for the first few days. It’s common for pain-relieving medication to be prescribed. Pain should subside on its own within a week to ten days. If pain becomes more severe, you should contact your dentist right away.
For the first day or two after a root canal, you might be advised to stick to liquids and gradually begin eating solid foods. You will also be given special instructions for cleaning and caring for the treated tooth, although most patients are able to return promptly to regular brushing.
Patients often experience some short-term discomfort on the day after the procedure simply because it’s necessary to hold your jaw open for an extended period of time during the process.
Root Canal Benefits
A root canal protects you from the laborious and uncomfortable process of extracting a tooth, which should always be considered a last resort. It also ensures you don’t risk the loss of any jawbone tissue located around the tooth.
To learn more about root canals or set an appointment, contact Central Avenue Dental.