A root canal is an endodontic treatment, which means it is for the inside of the tooth. The tooth pulp, which is the innermost layer of the tooth, can be infected or damaged due to decay, cracks, or trauma. During a root canal, the pulp is removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed.
When is a Root Canal Needed?
Root canals are needed when decay reaches the pulp chamber and causes the tooth to become inflamed and infected. Without treatment, the infection and bacteria will continue to spread, potentially leading to serious complications.
Symptoms of an infected tooth can include:
- Swelling around the tooth
- Sensitivity of the tooth
- Bad breath
- Pain when chewing or putting pressure on the tooth
- Gum tenderness or bleeding around the tooth
- Tenderness when touching the gums around the tooth
- Loose or shifting teeth
Is a Root Canal Painful?
Root canals are often associated with pain, but in most cases, this pain is minor and will only last a few hours following the procedure. Most of the time, people report minor soreness or sensitivity that goes away within a day or two.
With advances in dentistry, root canals are far less painful than they used to be. In fact, some people even report little or no discomfort at all.
What Happens During a Root Canal?
During a root canal, a dentist removes infected tissue in your pulp. The dentist then cleans, disinfects, and seals your tooth. Root canal therapy can eliminate pain associated with an infected tooth. Otherwise, you may need an extraction.
Before getting a root canal, your dentist may recommend antibiotics or pain medication. This helps you manage the discomfort and throbbing you may feel before your procedure. Your dentist also recommends taking ibuprofen and avoiding aspirin a few days before your root canal.
What Happens After a Root Canal?
After a root canal, the inflammation in your jaw and around your tooth should subside, and the tooth will become functional again.
A root canal is often followed up by a crown, which will protect your tooth from further damage.
A root canal can save you from needing an extraction down the road. It’s designed to relieve pain, stop decay, save the tooth, and prevent the need for an extraction.
To learn about our dental procedures, call Desert Mountain Dental at (520) 324-0100 and schedule an appointment or visit our Tucson dental office.