If you have a toothache, you may need a root canal treatment.
Why a Root Canal Treatment?
When tooth decay gets into the pulp of the tooth, the pulp becomes infected. As the pulp tries to fight this infection, it wants to swell. Since there is no room for it to swell, instead of healing, the tissue dies.
A root canal treatment heals the tooth by removing this infected or dead tissue and sealing it.
Are Root Canal Treatments Painful?
Usually, a root canal treatment is not a difficult procedure for the patient. Sometimes the pulp tissue is already dead and no novocain is even needed. But if you are afraid of this treatment, we can use nitrous oxide gas or sedation dentistry to make it easier for you.
Some people have the mistaken notion that this procedure is very painful and stressful, so they elect to have a tooth extracted. But a tooth extraction is one of the most stressful appointments for a patient. It is much more practical, in most cases, to save the tooth with a root canal.
Signs/Symptoms of Needing a Root Canal
- Moderate to severe lingering toothache pain when drinking hot or cold liquids or foods
- Moderate to severe pain when biting on a tooth
- Sensitivity to tapping or pressure on the tooth
- Toothache that wakes you up in the middle of the night
- A pimple on your gum that may release pus or blood
- Radiating pain from one area of the mouth to another
Information Following Root Canal (Endodontic) Treatment
Endodontic treatment can take 1, 2 or 3 appointments depending on each case. It is possible to experience any of the following symptoms after any one of these appointments:
- sensitivity to hot and/or cold
- sensitivity to pressure
- possible swelling
It is difficult to predict which symptoms, if any, you may experience and to what extent. In complicated cases, pain medication may be necessary.
If you experience swelling, call our office; it may be necessary to prescribe an antibiotic for you.
A temporary filling may be used to seal the tooth between visits.
Be gentle on the tooth while eating until the final restoration is placed.
During the endodontic treatment the nerve, blood and nutrient supply to the tooth is removed. This will cause the tooth to become brittle and prone to fracturing which can result in the need to extract the tooth. In many cases a full coverage dental crown restoration may be recommended to prevent this from happening.