Root canals may not be something you want to think about, but they’re a necessary dental procedure that can save your teeth from extraction. If you’re experiencing severe tooth pain or sensitivity or notice any discoloration, you may need to undergo a root canal.
Here are some of the signs that you need a root canal, what to expect during the procedure, and how to care for your tooth afterward.
Signs that You Need a Root Canal
The most common sign of needing a root canal is intense tooth pain. The pain can last for hours and is usually triggered by chewing, touching the tooth, or exposure to hot/cold temperatures. Additionally, sensitivity to hot and cold foods, inflammation of the surrounding gums, and discoloration of the tooth can indicate the need for a root canal. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s best to see your dentist right away.
What to Expect During the Procedure
During the root canal procedure, your dentist will remove the affected tissue and nerves inside the tooth and clean and disinfect the area. They will then fill the empty space with a special material, usually gutta-percha, to prevent any further infection. Afterward, a temporary filling will be placed, and a follow-up appointment will be scheduled for a permanent filling or crown. The procedure is typically done under local anesthesia, so you won’t feel any pain during the process.
After the root canal procedure, it’s important to take good care of your tooth to prevent any further complications. You may experience some swelling and sensitivity for a few days, but this can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. It’s best to avoid hard and crunchy foods and chew on the opposite side of your mouth. You should also maintain proper dental hygiene, such as brushing a couple of times a day and flossing regularly. You may need to follow up with your dentist for a permanent filling or crown, which will further protect your tooth from damage.
While root canals can save your tooth, it’s always better to avoid needing them in the first place. Maintaining good oral hygiene, such as brushing twice a day and flossing, can prevent cavities from forming and progressing. It’s also important to see your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups. Avoiding hard and crunchy foods and limiting sugary and acidic drinks can also help maintain healthy teeth.
Root canals may seem daunting, but they’re a common and safe procedure for treating severe tooth pain and preventing extraction. If you’re experiencing any symptoms of a root canal, it’s best to see your dentist as soon as possible. With good aftercare and prevention tips, you can make sure that your teeth remain healthy and strong. Remember, maintaining good oral hygiene goes a long way in preventing root canals and other dental complications.
Contact a dentist near you to learn more.