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5 Things You Should Know About Getting a Root Canal

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dentist showing patient root canal

Is it painful for you to chew, or is one of your teeth sensitive to cold temperatures?

If somebody has told you that it’s time to undergo a root canal procedure to solve a dental problem, you are not alone. In fact, root canals are one of the most common dental procedures that exist.

But there are many things that people don’t understand about root canals. That’s why it is important to understand what the procedure involves and what root canal recovery will look like.

To make things easier for you, we have put together a guide. Keep reading if you want to find out more.

1. Signs That You Might Need a Root Canal

If you have a tooth that is causing you pain when you use it, it could be a sign that the pulp inside the tooth is infected or inflamed.

This can be caused by deep decay, a crack or chip in the tooth, or repeated dental procedures on the tooth.

Another sign that you may need a root canal is sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. If you feel pain or discomfort when you drink something hot or cold, it could be a sign that the pulp inside your tooth is damaged.

Discolouration of the tooth can also be a sign that you need a root canal. If you notice that a tooth has become darker in colour, it could be a sign that the pulp inside the tooth is infected or dying.

Cracked or chipped teeth are also indications that the pulp inside the tooth is damaged. This might lead to inflammation or infection and necessitate a root canal procedure.

It’s important to note that not all tooth pain or sensitivity requires a root canal. A toothache can be caused by several factors, such as tooth decay, a cracked tooth, or a filling that has come loose.

Our DentalX dentists will evaluate your symptoms, take X-rays and examine your mouth to determine whether a root canal is necessary.

2. How the Procedure Works

A root canal is a common procedure that a dentist can perform to save a tooth that is infected or inflamed. The procedure is typically performed by an endodontist or a dentist.

During the procedure, the dentist will numb the area around the tooth with local anesthesia. They will then make an opening in the top of the tooth so that they can access the pulp inside.

Next, the dentist will remove the damaged pulp from the inside of the tooth before cleaning and shaping the canals.

The dentist will then fill the canals with a material called gutta-percha before sealing the tooth with a filling or crown. You might need to make more than one trip to the dentist to complete the process.

If you are scheduled for a root canal procedure or if you think you may need one, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the most important questions to ask the dentist.

Make sure to find out how many visits you will need to make to complete the procedure, how to prepare, and how much they charge.

3. Root Canal Treatment Recovery

The recovery process after a root canal procedure typically involves some mild discomfort and sensitivity. You can easily manage this by taking over-the-counter pain medications.

The dentist will likely recommend that you avoid chewing on the treated tooth for a few days and that you avoid biting on it forcefully for some time.

Depending on the tooth treated and the extent of the infection, they may also instruct you to eat soft foods for a few days.

After the procedure, your tooth may feel sensitive to temperature changes, biting or pressure. This is normal and should subside in a few days.

But If you feel prolonged or severe pain, or if you notice any swelling or signs of infection, such as fever, make sure to contact your dentist.

Your tooth may also be numb for a few hours after the procedure due to the anesthetic that the dentist will use. Try to avoid eating or biting on the numb side of your mouth to prevent biting your tongue, cheek, or lip.

4. They Are Not as Painful as They Look

While the thought of having a root canal can be daunting, the procedure is designed to alleviate pain, not cause it.

In fact, many people who have had root canals describe the procedure as no more uncomfortable than having a filling done.

During the procedure, the dentist will numb the area around the tooth with local anesthesia, which will keep you comfortable. Most people feel little to no pain during the procedure.

5. Root Canals Require Dental Crowns

After a root canal, the tooth may be more brittle and more prone to breaking, so a dental crown will help to strengthen the tooth and provide it with extra protection against further damage.

The dentist will evaluate your specific case and will give you a recommendation accordingly.

What to Know About a Root Canal

If you think that it might be necessary for you to get a root canal, there are several things that you should know about this common procedure.

Remember that they are not as painful as most people think. Also, keep in mind that the procedure might require more than one visit.

Are you looking for an experienced dentist in North York? If so, understand that DentalX is here to help you with all of your dental care needs. Don’t hesitate to visit our Dental Services page today to find out more!