What Is Root Canal Therapy?
The idea of getting root canal therapy can be intimidating. But it doesn’t need to be. Before a root canal procedure may be carried out, Dr. Smith will provide a proper diagnosis indicating that it’s needed.
The deepest layer of your tooth is called the pulp. It contains nerves, blood vessels, and other soft tissue that support a living tooth. When the pulp becomes infected, it’s very painful and the infection can spread throughout your teeth and gums and even to other parts of your body.
With root canal therapy, Dr. Smith can save your tooth by removing infected dental pulp and restoring it to full function.
Every year, dentists use root canal therapy to preserve millions of infected teeth that would otherwise need to be removed.
After the damaged tissue is removed, we’ll fill the empty chamber with a rubbery substance called gutta-percha and protect the tooth using an attractive dental crown.
Does Root Canal Therapy Hurt?
There is a common stigma that root canal therapy is extremely painful and uncomfortable. Fortunately, this simply isn’t true. According to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), most patients feel little to no pain during root canal therapy In fact, root canal therapy will actually make the pain go away.
During the procedure, the tooth is isolated using a clamp-like tool to hold in place. Numbing agents are used in the area where the procedure will take place. This is known as localized anesthesia.
While the procedure itself is painless, some patients may experience discomfort afterward. But root canal therapy is the solution to your existing problem, discomfort, and pain.
What Can Happen If I Don’t Get Root Canal Therapy?
If you’ve been diagnosed with an infection that requires root canal therapy, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment immediately. If left untreated, you put yourself at serious risk of the infection spreading to your jaw and bloodstream.
When the infection progresses far enough, there’s even a chance that it could become life-threatening.
What many patients don’t know is that after the infection progresses to a critical stage, the procedure required to remove the infection may become much more serious. Multiple teeth may require removal and replacement to maintain a healthy bite and prevent other teeth from drifting.
Signs You May Need Need Root Canal Therapy
If you’re concerned that your tooth may be infected and in need of root canal therapy, here are signs to look out for:
- Severe toothache and pain from pressure on the tooth
- Sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages
- Discoloration and darkening of the tooth
- Swelling and tenderness in the gums surrounding the tooth
- A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums
Keep in mind that sometimes no symptoms will be apparent when you have an infected tooth. But this doesn’t mean there isn’t a serious infection in your tooth or gums. During an x-ray or examination, Doctor Smith may find an infection and suggest root canal therapy.
Healthy Smiles in Kingston, PA
If there’s any indication that you might have an infection in your tooth, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with Ian Smith Dental in Kingston, PA. Dr. Smith has been awarded Fellowship status by the Academy of General Dentistry. He’ll properly treat and remove your infection with the utmost sensitivity and care.
Call (570)-714-3883 to schedule an appointment today. The road to a bright, healthy smile begins with your consultation with Dr. Smith!
Root Canal Therapy FAQs
Does root canal therapy hurt?
The root canal treatment is very comfortable and not too painful at all. In fact, most patients inform us that the infected root canal is what hurts the most and the procedure is menial discomfort.
After Dr. Smith has completed the root canal therapy, you might experience some pain during your recovery, but it shouldn’t last more than a couple of days. You can take general pain relief medication to help.
Should my tooth hurt a week after the procedure?
No, your tooth shouldn’t hurt for more than a few days after your procedure. Within the first couple of days, some minimal pain and discomfort are normal and it can be alleviated with over-the-counter pain medications.
If your tooth still hurts a week later, there may be a complication and you should call our office at (570) 714-3883 so Dr. Smith can examine your tooth.
What is root canal retreatment?
Root canal retreatment is a second treatment of your tooth that just received root canal therapy. This may occur because the canal of a tooth can be complex and the infection may have not been completely cleaned out.
If you need root canal retreatment, the procedure will be very similar to the first one. Dr. Smith will use comprehensive scans to map your root structure prior to the procedure so there is no need to retreatment again.
What is a hot tooth?
A hot tooth is a severely infected tooth that’s sensitive and doesn’t respond well to local anesthesia. Sometimes, a hot tooth is difficult to treat because of how painful it is.
Dr. Smith will always put your safety and comfort first and will work with you to try and find a solution for your infected tooth. Though it isn’t known why some teeth become infected this way, we use advanced technology and unique strategies to treat them.
How can you tell if a tooth is dead?
You can start to tell if a tooth is dead when it begins changing color. Generally, the tooth has been cut off from blood supply, so it can start to turn brown, grey, or black.
You’ll most likely begin feeling severe pain where the tooth is, so if you notice these symptoms it’s important to contact our office at (570) 714-3883 so we can save it.
How long does root canal therapy take?
Most root canal therapy procedure usually takes around 90 minutes to complete. However, there are some cases where you may need more than one appointment to clear out the infection if it’s more severe or if you have a complicated root structure.
If you do need to have two appointments, our first priority is to relieve your pain. We’ll ensure the tooth is properly protected until your next appointment. At your second appointment, we’ll thoroughly clean the tooth, then place a more permanent, protective restoration.