Does the term “root canal” send chills down your spine? Do you believe this procedure to be painful and scary? Are you wondering what recovering from it is going to be like? Root Canal Therapy has developed quite a bad reputation through the years. This is due to multiple factors. Among them shared horror stories in the manner of urban myths. The presentation of this treatment in media certainly doesn’t help. Thankfully, modern root canal treatments are virtually painless. They are, instead known for their ability to relieve pain from advanced tooth decay. If you have a root canal ahead, let us ease your mind. We’ll let you know what’s involved and what recovery will be like.
The Benefits Of Receiving Root Canal Therapy
When your dentist has decided that a root canal is necessary, it’s not because they’re a sadist. Instead, it’s because the decay in your tooth is particularly advanced. Without a root canal, it may be necessary to remove your tooth. Our natural teeth play multiple important roles in our present and lasting oral health. They also ensure we can eat a varied diet, speak clearly, and smile with pride. When the dental pulp has been found to be infected, a root canal is often the only way to save it.
Root canal treatments are a fairly routine procedure that begins with an anesthetic. Numbing the area to be worked on ensures that you won’t experience any additional pain. Modern dental technology also provides your dentist with a clear view of your tooth’s internal structures. This ensures that your dental health professional will be able to remove the entire infection. The basic steps of a root canal include:
- Anesthetic – The area to be treated is administered an anesthetic to numb it. The tissues near the tooth, as well as the tooth itself, will be numbed. Once this feeling has set in, the procedure begins.
- Clearing The Tooth – The tooth is opened up at this point, and the decay is removed from the pulp. This process includes the use of a drill or laser.
- Disinfect and Seal – The interior of the tooth will then be sterilized and sealed against further infection. The tooth gap is then filled with a substance known as gutta-percha, and a cap is put in place.
Following your treatment, you may be administered an antibiotic. This will help avoid the infection reasserting itself while you heal. Once these above steps are complete, it’s time to start recovery.
Root Canal Recovery Time: What to Expect
Recovering from a root canal often involves a few days of soreness. This soreness is most often present if the tooth was infected before the treatment. Simple over-the-counter medications can usually treat this sensitivity. If they prove insufficient, contact your dentist for a stronger prescription. In most cases, you’ll be able to return to life 24 hours after the treatment is completed.
In some instances, your dentist may have placed a temporary filling instead of a permanent one. In this case, your dentist will schedule a follow-up to replace the temporary filling with a permanent one. In the meantime, you’ll want to avoid chewing on anything hard. The temporary filling isn’t as resilient or well-fitted as the permanent one will be. You’ll also want to ensure you return to a thorough oral hygiene routine.
Be sure to speak to your dentist if you experience any of the following during recovery:
- Visible oral swelling
- Any form of an allergic reaction
- Pain that is severe or lasts several days
- The return of symptoms in the treated tooth
Want to know more about your upcoming root canal? Reach out to your endodontist to schedule a consultation. They or one of their team will take steps to address all of your concerns. Root canal treatments are the best way to preserve your natural teeth while addressing advanced decay. Don’t wait until extraction is the only option; schedule your necessary root canal today!