If you have a tooth that is severely decayed or infected, a root canal may be the best treatment option to save the tooth and prevent further damage. Root canals are also used to treat teeth that have been cracked or damaged by trauma. During a root canal procedure, the damaged or infected tissue inside the tooth is removed and the tooth is cleaned and sealed.
What is a Root Canal?
Root canal treatment is effective in eliminating bacteria from the infected root canal and preventing reinfection of the tooth. It is a successful procedure in saving the natural tooth. When having a root canal, the infected or inflamed pulp will be removed by the dentist. They will then clean and disinfect the inside of the tooth before filling and sealing it.
Endo is the Greek word for “inside” and odont is Greek for “tooth”. Endodontics treats the inside of a teeth. Root canal treatment is a type of endodontic procedure used to treat infection and inflammation of the dental pulp.
To understand endodontic treatment, it helps to have a basic understanding of tooth anatomy. The pulp, a soft tissue found inside the tooth under the enamel and dentin, is often the focus of endodontic procedures. The pulp is the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. It helps to create the hard tissues that surround the tooth during development.
At the root of the tooth, the pulp extends to the tip where it connects to the tissues surrounding the origin. Studies have shown that, as the tooth gets older, it can support itself without the pulp, since the surrounding tissues provide the nutrients needed to continue to grow. Learn more about what a root canal is.
How Much Pain Will I Have After a Root Canal
A root canal is a major dental procedure that can cause pain and irritation in the nerves and gums. The procedure involves deep cleaning of the canals inside the root of the tooth, which can remove any debris and bacteria.
A root canal is an alternative treatment for a badly damaged, infected, or decayed tooth. Although the procedure itself is painless, it is normal to experience mild to moderate pain for a few days afterward. This pain should not last forever and is a sign that the root canal is working to heal your tooth. If you experience any pain beyond this point, it may be necessary to have your canals cleaned or to undergo other procedures as determined by your dentist.
The Most Common Root Canal Symptoms
If that’s the case, going to a dentist is the only way to be sure that you require a root canal. However, there are instances in which certain symptoms can signal the need for a root canal. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Constant Pain
If you’re experiencing constant pain, it may be a sign that you need a root canal. This pain may be constant or come and go, but if it’s bothersome or interfering with your daily life, it’s worth considering a root canal to relieve the discomfort. Tooth pain can often be felt in other parts of the face and jaw, as well as in the tooth itself. The pain may also radiate down into the bones of the teeth. If you are experiencing tooth pain, it is important to consult with your dentist. This pain may be indicative of a more serious issue, such as a damaged filling, cavity, sinus infection, or impacted tooth. Gum disease is also a possibility. If you are experiencing persistent pain, it is best to seek professional medical advice.
If a tooth becomes infected due to an untreated cavity, its pulp may become dark. If a tooth’s roots are affected by illness or an injury, their teeth can develop a grayish or discolored tone. You will likely need a dental appointment if your teeth begin to get darker or grayer.
- Sensitivity to Heat and Cold
As you consume or drink anything hot or cold, you might feel pain in your tooth, which may require endodontic treatment. The sensitivity can manifest as a noticeable ache or a stinging feeling, and you might notice it persisting after you’re done performing or ingesting the act. If you’re experiencing increased sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, it could be a sign that the nerves in your tooth are damaged or infected. Contact your dentist as soon as possible to determine the cause and next steps.
- A Cracked or Chipped Tooth
If you crack or chip a tooth by chewing on something hard, participating in some sport, or in an injury, bacteria can proliferate and cause an infection. Even if the tooth does not crack or chip and it’s only injured, it can damage your nerves to the point where you need a root canal.
Signs of requiring a root canal may include pain or swelling in the gum area that hurts, bumps that look similar to pimples in the location where you experience pain, and movement in the tooth.
Does A Root Canal Kill The Tooth?
Many dental patients recognize that root canal treatment can save natural teeth, but they may not be aware of what actually occurs within the tooth during the process. Of course, certain positive aspects can be derived from preserving your original teeth. The root canal procedure removes the living nerve tissue of your tooth and provides it with a biocompatible material, often gutta-percha.
Can a root canal fail?
Root canals can fail for a variety of different reasons, including a procedure that did not clean the canals in the first place, a breakdown of the crown of the root canal or a seal within it, or literally anything that allowed the tooth which previously had a root canal procedure to be infected with the root and then affects other teeth.
What not to do after a root canal?
In order to avoid symptoms post-endodontic treatment, be sure to follow all instructions from your endodontist. By way of example, it’s likely that your dentist will tell you to avoid chewing any hard or especially chewy food, brush twice a day, and be especially cautious over the area where the procedure was done.