- by Dr. Ravneet Dhillon
- January 18, 2023
The pain associated with Root canal treatments is a cause of apprehension in many people. However, the root canal is a procedure that has saved millions of decayed teeth and continues to do so. However, contrary to the common belief, root canal treatment is not painful and in fact, it provides you a relief from it.
Understanding the procedure completely can help you overcome not only your fear but also help you make a proper decision.
What is a Root Canal Treatment?
A treatment used to eradicate bacteria from an infected root canal is known as a root canal treatment. It not only helps to save the natural tooth but also prevents any reinfection of the tooth. Root canal treatment involves removing the infected or inflamed pulp. The inside of the tooth is then sterilised & cleaned. The procedure ends with filling and closing the tooth.
How do I know I need a Root Canal?
Whether you need a root canal or not can only be decided by a root canal specialist after the proper checkup. But some symptoms can indicate that you may need a root canal. These include:
- Persistent Pain: Constant pain in the tooth that bothers you all the time or goes away and comes back may be an indication that you need a root canal. The pain may be felt in parts other than your tooth also like the jaw, face, or other teeth. You may also feel the pain deep in the bone of your tooth. Tooth pain can also be an indicator of other issues, like a damaged filling, a cavity, pain from a sinus infection, a sign of an infected impacted tooth, or also gum disease. However, come what may persistent pain is a red flag for you to consult the dentist as soon as possible
- Discoloration of Your Tooth: Infection in the pulp can lead to discoloration of the tooth. Any breakdown or trauma to the tooth can cause damage to the roots, giving teeth a greyish or black tone due to damage. You must see a dentist at Morgan Hill Dentistry in case your teeth are becoming discolored.
- Sensitivity to Heat and Cold: Any pain in your tooth while consuming hot or cold drinks or food might be a sign that you need a root canal. The sensitivity can cause either a sharp pain or sometimes just a dull ache that lingers even after you have finished drinking or eating. Sensitivity to heat or cold can be an indicator of damage or infection to it the nerves of your tooth.
- Cracked or Chipped Tooth: A tooth can crack or chip on chewing something hard while playing a sport, or in an accident. This can cause the appearance of bacteria, causing an infection. Sometimes an injured tooth may not crack or chip but the nerves may still be damaged to a point of requiring root canal therapy for the cracked tooth.
There are some other signs that may be an indicator of a root canal. These may include swelling or painful tenderness of the bumps that may look like pimples in the area of pain or a tooth that is painful and loose.
Tooth decay can be damaging to more than just the tooth’s outer enamel with the bacterial infection working its way into a tooth’s interior leading to damage to the nerves & blood vessels present in the tooth’s pulp. This infection then moves onto the roots and the supporting bone through the root canals. Tooth decay and infection when untreated can be extremely damaging and lead to tooth loss.
A root canal treatment with expert dentists at Morgan Hill Dentistry, can stop the decay and save the tooth. We are one of the most trusted dentists to perform a root canal in Morgan Hill.
What happens during the Root Canal Treatment?
The dentist first assesses the damage and ascertains if the root canal is necessary through one or more tests like x-rays, cavity tests, selective anaesthesia which can help identify the source of pain, or by tapping on the problematic tooth. If the dentist decides on the necessity of root canal surgery, then the procedure is as follows:
- X-rays are taken to ascertain the damage more clearly
- An anesthetic is applied to the tooth and surrounding gum tissues using a local anesthetic to eliminate any pain that you might feel
- An opening is created in the tooth to remove the infected pulp and the dentist removes the pulp that is infected with bacteria
- A medicine is put on the opening to remove bacteria.
- The opening is then shut with a permanent material called gutta percha to prevent further infection.
- The tooth is then restored using a dental crown.
What happens after getting a root canal?
A slight soreness may persist for a few days after the root canal. However, it is not more than the soreness felt after a routine filling and can normally be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. The root canal recovery time is usually very short and the recovery very easy. The dentist will call you after a few days to fit a new crown on the tooth in order to strengthen the tooth against stress fracturing and also to provide it with another layer of protection against future decay.
Root canal treatments are relatively quite common and serve your teeth with a second chance. The dentists at Morgan Hill Dentistry are proficient in performing Root Canal Treatments and there is absolutely nothing to fear or worry about.
Can I prevent a Root Canal?
Good dental hygiene habits can help you avoid tooth decay and thus the need for a root canal. These include:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily
- Visiting your dentist every 6 months.
- Taking a healthy and balanced diet and limiting refined carbohydrates & sugary foods that tend to stick to your teeth.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of tooth decay and need a root canal specialist in Morgan Hill, our specialists can help you in the most competent way possible. We have served many patients with a safe and almost pain-free root canal treatment procedure. Our staff is not only very competent in their work but also treats each patient with a great deal of compassion and care.
How much does a root canal cost?
The cost of the root canal depends on the severity of the infection, its location, and on the necessity of a dental crown.
Can a root canal be done in one visit?
A root canal procedure can take anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours. It can sometimes be done in one appointment depending on the amount of infection but may usually require two visits.
Do you need a crown after a root canal?
A crown is usually recommended after a root canal to restore the tooth. However, the need for a crown depends on the location of the tooth and the strength of the part of the tooth that is left. Teeth toward the back of the mouth, like premolars and molars, are more likely to need crowns as these teeth are used more for chewing, putting a great deal of force on them.