Endodontics, also known as root canal, is a specialized set procedures designed to treat issues with the tissue inside the tooth. Many people wrongly believe that a root canal is an unusually painful treatment, but typically the experience feels similar to getting a filling. Root canals can be a very effective way to deal with chronic tooth pain. When the pulp tissue becomes infected, a root canal procedure may be necessary to provide a permanent solution for the pain. The unique makeup of the tooth’s pulp tissue explains why infection in this tissue will likely result in intense pain. Pulp tissue consists of blood vessels, connective tissue as well as nerve cells. With antibiotics and pain medication, tooth pain can sometimes be treated temporally. But, the infection and the pain will typically come back in a short time. If not dealt with properly, the infection can turn into an abscess, and may problems in other parts of the body.
Root Canal Treatment Is Your Friend
Many people make the mistake of delaying endodontic treatment. They often fear that root canal procedures are invariably painful and complicated. Although infection of the tooth pulp can be very painful, the root canal procedure itself is painful and will result in permanent relief of the pain. In addition to permanent pain relief, one more reason to not delay a root canal is to preserve the tooth. With a properly performed root canal you may be preventing problems would eventually cause the need for removal of the tooth. Neglecting the tooth ultimately will lead to more costly dental work such as bridgework or dental implants. How Does the Root Get Infected? Pulp tissue is often caused by deep tooth decay. If left untreated cavities, and cracked or chipped teeth may allow bacteria to gradually find its way to the pulp tissue. Pulp tissue damage can also be caused by trauma to the tooth during an accident or strike to the face. In situations like this, immediate treatment is necessary to prevent serious problems. Occasionally, dental procedures can even result in damage to pulp tissue. If a tooth is filled multiple times, the chances of injury to the tissue pulp increases.
What Should I Expect During and After a Root Canal?
If you do need a root canal, take comfort in knowing that it’s a very common and relatively pain free procedure. The first step is to administer an anesthetic that will numb the tooth and surrounding area. The next, step is to drill a small opening in the surface of the affected tooth to expose the pulp chamber and root canal. Tiny instruments are then used to remove the dead and dying pulp tissue. Once the tissue is removed, the chamber and empty canals are then cleaned, disinfected, and filled with an inert, biocompatible material. The last step is to seal the opening in the tooth to prevent future infection. The tooth may be sensitive for a few days after the root canal procedure. A prescription pain medication may be prescribed, or over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen may be used to relieve any discomfort. Any discomfort should be temporary. It’s often necessary to have crown placed on your tooth after a root canal. This will prolong the health of your tooth for years to come. The best way to know if you might need a root canal procedure is severe tooth pain and pressure in your mouth. You may also have swelling in your mouth and sore or sensitive gums. Less obvious symptoms include pain when you bite down on food or sensitivity when you eat hot or cold food. If you have these symptoms, you should make an appointment for an examination immediately.