Endodontics is the branch of dentistry that concentrates on the nerves and pulp within the teeth. Root canals are probably the most notorious dental procedure related to endodontics, and they are essential for treating infections within the tooth. An untreated tooth infection can be extremely painful and lead to more severe conditions, such as abscess or bone loss. Patients who undergo a root canal experience extraordinary relief from the chronic pain associated with a tooth infection, enabling them to eat without discomfort. While the prospect of necessitating a root canal can seem frightening, advancements in dental technology have made the process as comfortable as possible. At Gentle Care Dentistry, we strive to create a soothing environment for all of our patients to ensure a tranquil and pleasing endodontic experience.
What a Root Canal Can Do
- Relieve individual tooth pain
- Permanently reduce individual tooth sensitivity
- Treat and prevent a dental abscess and bone loss
- Save a badly infected tooth
Root Canal Procedure
Before the root canal begins, your dentist will use a local anesthetic to the treatment site to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure. During a process called rotary endodontics, your dentist will create an opening into the center of the tooth utilizing a specialized electrical drilling device. After carefully removing any infected tissue and thoroughly cleaning the canal, your dentist will place a dental sealant called gutta percha. Because a root canal essentially “hollows out” the tooth and makes it very susceptible to fracture, your dentist will also place a crown to preserve the strength and longevity of the tooth.
Root Canal Aftercare
Although you may experience some soreness for a few days following your root canal procedure, most patients can alleviate discomfort with over-the-counter pain medication. Your dentist may also prescribe pain medication if necessary. You should avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the procedure was performed to avoid irritating the area and to ensure that the temporary restorative material properly sets. You will also need to take an antibiotic to treat any remaining infection in your tooth. If you notice an increasing amount of pain or tenderness, a reaction to the medication, or the loss of the temporary restoration (filling), you should call your dentist immediately. Adopting diligent oral hygiene practices, including brushing and flossing regularly, is crucial for maintaining the success of your root canal procedure. It is also recommended to visit your dentist twice a year for professional cleanings and exams.