What to Expect with Root Canal Therapy
You may need a root canal if you have a severe toothache, usually accompanied by swelling in the jaw around the tooth. Root canal therapy is performed when the pulp that is composed of nerves and blood vessels become infected or damaged. During a root canal therapy treatment, the pulp is removed and the area inside the tooth is cleaned and sealed.
Dr. Eric Martin and our team want you to understand the process of root canal therapy and all aspects of the procedure prior to your treatment.
There is nothing to fear with root canal therapy. Most people realize the procedure is no more painful than having a filling replaced. Oftentimes, the discomfort of root canal treatment is in the period leading up to seeking treatment, rather than the procedure itself.
Understanding the Root Canal
To grasp the structure of the tooth prior to root canal therapy leads to the pulp of the tooth. Dental pulp, or the pulp chamber, is the center of the tooth that contains the nerve, blood vessels, and connective tissue.
The canals of the root travel from the tip of the tooth’s root to the pulp chamber. Its only function is sensory–to determine the hot and cold nature of food and beverages. If exposed, that’s where the pain and discomfort lie.
The presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the overall functioning of the tooth. However, after dental treatment, the tooth is less resilient and more susceptible to sensation.
Signs You Need Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is a fairly common procedure, and identifying the causes of infection is the first step in getting treatment.
These symptoms associated with an infected tooth pulp include:
- Persistent tooth pain
- Sensitivity to heat and cold
- Tooth discoloration
- Swollen gums
- Pain when you eat or touch the tooth
- A chipped or cracked tooth
- Tooth mobility
Dental Pulp Removal
As the pulp is damaged, it breaks down and the bacteria multiply within the pulp chamber. This is where the dying pulp remnants can cause serious infection or a tooth abscess. An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms at the end of the tooth root. In addition to an abscess, an infection in the root canal can cause:
- Bone loss around the tip of the root.
- Drainage problems extending outward from the root. This is where a hole in the tooth can lead to drainage of bacteria into the gums or cheek of the skin.
- Swelling that may spread to other areas of the face, neck, or head.
Once Dr. Martin has determined your need for root canal therapy, the road to excellent dental health begins.
In Need of a Tooth Extraction?
In some cases, the tooth may need to be removed due to severe infection. If your tooth has become too infected to recoer, we can extract it in a quick and easy procedure.
Once the decayed tooth has been removed, we can offer you a variety of tooth replacement options for you. We may suggest a dental bridge, dental implant, or denture piece, depending on how many of your teeth are removed.
Common Questions About Root Canal Therapy
Does root canal therapy hurt?
When you receive root canal therapy at our dental office, you’ll experience little to no pain.
Most patients will receive a sedation to help diminish any discomfort. Once the treatment is complete, many say they are in more pain prior to the treatment than during the actual procedure.
Should my tooth hurt a week after the procedure?
It’s common to experience short-term tooth sensitivity after root canal therapy because it is likely to aggravate or caused inflammation in the nerve inside the tooth.
As you heal, the sensitivity will diminish with a few days or sometimes a week.
What is root canal retreatment?
A root canal retreatment may be necessary if a previously root canal treated tooth fails to heal or if a recurrent infection is apparent.
How can you tell if a tooth is dead?
If a tooth dies, many people will notice discoloration. Tooth pain and gum pain are also very likely to occur, as well as a bad taste and smell in your mouth.
How long does root canal therapy take?
Simple root canal thereapy treatments usually take about 30 to 60 minutes, while a more complex case may take longer up to 90 minutes.
Our Champaign, IL Team is Here to Help You
If you’re suffering from pain due to tooth decay or an infection and are in need of a root canal, don’t postpone treatment any longer! Contact Dr. Martin in Champaign, IL for a consultation. Our dedicated dentist and team are to help you regain your dental health. Call us today to get started!