Root canal therapy is a treatment that your dentist may use if there is a need to remove an infection from the root canal of your tooth. Root canal treatment not only removes bacteria and infection, but it will also prevent the tooth from being re-infected and it can prevent the need for an extraction.
When a dentist performs root canal treatment, they remove the pulp from the infected tooth and carefully clean and seal the area with a putty-like substance that hardens and prevents bacteria from getting back into the root canal.
Your tooth can survive easily without the pulp because the tissues surrounding tooth continue to nourish it.
Should you be worried about root canal treatment?
On TV and in the movies, root canal treatment is often portrayed as painful and uncomfortable. That is an unfortunate portrayal because in most cases, they are anything but! A dental appointment for a root canal is very similar to an appointment for a filling – the procedure itself is usually painless and you should be back to chewing and talking normally as soon as any freezing wears off although there may be some mild discomfort for a few days. Not only is root canal treatment simple, safe, and routine – but it may be the only way to save your tooth. Root canal treatment relieves the pain of infection and helps your tooth to be healthy again.
Advantages of root canal treatment
In addition to getting rid of the painful infection and preserving the tooth, there are several other advantages to root canal treatment including:
- Protection of other teeth
- Natural appearance
- Normal sensation and biting force.
How do you know if you need a root canal?
Root canal treatments are usually needed if there is an infection in the pulp of tooth. If the tooth has badly cracked or there is a deep cavity, it can be easier for bacteria to get inside the root canal and cause infection. You may also be more prone to illness because of your genetics. If you notice that your teeth are suddenly more sensitive to hot and cold, it could be sign that you need root canal treatment.
Some symptoms that may indicate the need for root canal treatment include:
- Severe tooth pain – especially when biting or chewing.
- Pimple-like bumps on the gums.
- A tooth that is chipped or cracked
- Lasting sensitivity to the hot or cold (even after the hot or cold item has removed)
- Tender or swollen gums.
- Gums that are darkening in color
How long does it take to recover from a root canal treatment?
You can return to your normal activities immediately following a root canal treatment. however it is recommended that you avoid eating anything until the numbness is gone – this usually happens within two to four hours.