TOOTH SMART DENTAL BLOG

What is a Root Canal Treatment?

Have you been recently advised or informed by the dentist that you need a root canal treatment? It is very likely that you may have the following questions or concerns –

Are you getting anxious or worries because you are not sure what to expect? Are you getting concerned if this dental procedure is going to be painful?

To get rid of this anxiety, worry or concern let’s first understand what is a Root Canal Treatment and what is involved in it.

Root Canal – Each tooth has a nerve inside it. This nerve is inside a canal which is the inner most part of a tooth. The nerve can become infected or inflamed. This can happen if the nerve gets damaged. The reasons for damage can be;

Tooth Decay

Trauma/crack/break in the tooth

Gum disease

Warning signs – Warning signs of an infected/inflamed nerve (pulp) can be;

Mild to severe pain

Sensitivity to hot and cold things

Tenderness to bite or touch

Swelling of gums or even sometimes face

In such cases a Root Canal Treatment might be needed to remove this infected or dead pulp (nerve) from your tooth. This allows you to restore your tooth so that it can function like a healthy tooth and does not need to be removed.

Does Root Canal Treatment hurt? – The dentist will place numbing gel on the gums in relation to the tooth which needs Root Canal Treatment. This gel reduces the sensitivity to the injection. The dentist will then inject a local anesthetic (numbing solution) to completely deaden the nerves in the tooth and the surrounding tissues. The dentist will make sure that you are completely pain free and comfortable while getting this procedure done.

How long will it take? – The procedure of a Root Canal Treatment from start to finish can take 2 – 3 visits.

Visit 1 – The dentist will completely remove the dead and damaged pulp  from the canal and place a medication to soothe the tooth.

Visit 2 – The dentist will clean and shape the canal and prepare it for restoration.

Visit 3 – The dentist will fill and seal the canal to protect it from bacteria  and infection. This is followed by a permanent restoration to seal the tooth. This permanent restoration can be either a filing or a crown.

Will it hurt after the procedure? – Sometimes you may feel slight sensitivity or tenderness in the area for the first couple of days after the procedure. This can be easily relieved by over the counter pain relief medication. The dentist may prescribe a stronger pain relief medication depending upon the severity of your treatment.

Because you have to keep your mouth open for a long time this can cause jaw stiffness or jaw joint soreness in some people. This is temporary and will go away within a day.

What to do after the procedure 

While you are still numb, you can accidentally bite your cheek/tongue. So avoid eating while you are numb. If you want to eat, eat on the other side and eat slowly. Prefer foods which are soft and do not need much chewing. Avoid biting or chewing with that tooth until the dentist has completed final restoration phase.

If you have been given any prescription medication, please take that as per the dentist’s instructions.

If you have any concerns, always call the dental office and let them know.

If you need a Root Canal treatment, please contact us at Tooth Smart Dental on 07 3399 6228.