What is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy treatments save damaged teeth that have infected pulps. The dental pulp is an essential part of tooth anatomy. Protected by enamel, the pulp provides life and nutrients to the tooth. If a tooth becomes cracked or damaged, a cavity can develop, allowing bacteria to enter the inner chambers and infect the pulp. When infected, the sensitive nerves will result in discomfort, more commonly referred to as a toothache.
Root canal treatment involves the removal and replacement of diseased or dead pulp. The dentist numbs the area before creating an access point at the top of the tooth. Once the infected pulp has been removed, the chambers are carefully cleaned to ensure no bacteria remain. The chamber is then filled with a biocompatible material called gutta percha, and a custom crown is placed on the tooth to restore its structure and protect it from further infection. Root canal therapy may require multiple visits depending on the complexity of the infection.
Is Root Canal Treatment Painful?
Root canal therapy is designed to relieve discomfort, not cause it. With advances in anesthesia, sedatives, and technique, patients remain at ease during this treatment.
Tooth sensitivity is a common post-op experience, especially considering prior irritation. The area may not feel normal for a few days afterward, especially with the temporary crown in place. Any discomfort can usually be relieved with over-the-counter medications or those prescribed by your dentist.
How do I Keep the Treated Tooth Healthy?
It is important to follow post-op instructions carefully to ensure proper healing. Taking care of your teeth as you normally would with regular brushing and flossing will keep the area clean and prevent infection.
Once the root canal is completed, you’ll need to return to the dentist for a final crown that will fully restore the tooth. Created to look and function as a normal tooth, this crown is the final restoration and will be permanently attached.
Contact your dentist immediately if you experience any symptoms such as pain or pressure, noticeable swelling around the treated area, or a loosening of the crown. This could indicate a returning infection.
For root canal therapy treatment with a gentle touch, choose Lansdale dentist Dr. David Kaffey at Leading Dental Solutions. Contact us today for a consultation and treatment recommendation.