Many painful dental conditions involve infections that have spread to the tooth’s pulp, which is the inner chamber of the tooth containing blood vessels, nerves and other tissues. As the infection grows to reach the tooth’s roots it can become incredibly painful and require immediate treatment. If allowed to spread, the infection can also cause small pockets of pus to develop at the tooth roots, leading to an abscess. Root canal therapy is a remarkable treatment with a very high rate of success that stops the spread of infection and restores the health of your tooth.
What Happens During Root Canal Procedures?
Your mouth will be completely numbed prior to the procedure, using an anesthetic similar to that administered for fillings and other dental treatments. The dentist will drill into your tooth to reach the infected roots. In some instances gum tissue may also have to be cut or removed to access your tooth’s roots.
Once the roots have been accessed, they will be cleaned and the infection will be eliminated. The final step of a root canal procedure is to seal the tooth as you would a filling, or to cover the tooth with a crown made of porcelain.
Isn’t a Root Canal Painful?
Your dentist will use an anesthetic to completely numb your mouth during your root canal procedure. In fact, your mouth will likely remain numb for a couple of hours following the procedure. While many patients fear root canal therapy out of fear of pain, most of our patients report being quite comfortable during treatment.
How Long Does a Root Canal Procedure Take?
Most root canal treatments are successful with just one dental visit, lasting approximately 2 hours. However, in rare cases you may have to visit the dentist for a second visit.
What is Involved in Recovery from a Root Canal?
Your mouth will be numb for a couple of hours following the treatment. You should not eat during this time to avoid any injury to your teeth, cheeks or lips. Once the anesthesia wears off you will likely experience some swelling, tenderness and other discomfort at the treatment site. This is normally managed well with ibuprofen or other over the counter pain medication.
If you are experiencing sudden dental pain it is important to visit your dentist for immediate evaluation. Contact O’Brien Dental Care to schedule your next appointment today.