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Root Canals

An option to save a tooth

Natural teeth are meant to last a lifetime. Even if one of your teeth becomes injured or decayed, it can often be saved through a specialized dental procedure known as root canal. Root canals involve the removal of the tooth’s pulp or “nerve.” Once removed, this pulp is replaced with materials to seal off the canal from surrounding tissues.

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Post-operative Care Following a Root Canal

The mouth is an extremely sensitive part of the body. Dental treatment of any kind requires taking extra care of the area after operation. Whether you have had a routine procedure, or something more complex like a tooth extraction or periodontal surgery, there are several important steps you can take to maximize the results of your procedure, prevent infection, and ease any discomfort you might experience. If you have any additional questions about your procedure or if you are experiencing abnormal bleeding, swelling, severe pain, or any reaction to medications, please do not hesitate to contact us.

  • Until your root canal procedure is completely finished and the permanent filling or crown is in place, it is wise to minimize chewing on the tooth under repair.
  • Upon completion of treatment, the tooth may feel sensitive for a few days due to natural tissue inflammation. This can usually be controlled with over-the-counter analgesics such as ibuprofen (e.g., AdvilMotrin) or naproxen (e.g., Aleve).
  • Most patients can return to their normal activities the next day.

Commonly Asked Questions About Root Canals

Are root canals a painful procedure?

While root canal procedures have the reputation of being painful, most people report the procedure itself is no more painful than having a filling placed. The discomfort experienced before seeking dental care is truly the painful period of time, not the root canal procedure itself. Some patients listen to music during the procedure to relax. We can also use a tool called the DentalVibe to alleviate the discomfort related to receiving the local anesthetic. Learn all about it here.

What damages a tooth’s nerve or pulp?

Nerve or pulp can become irritated, inflamed, and infected in the following ways: deep decay, repeated procedures on a tooth, repeated procedures on a large filling, a crack or chip in the tooth, or trauma to the face.

What are the signs that a root canal is needed?

  • Severe toothache upon chewing or application of pressure
  • Prolonged sensitivity/pain to hot or cold temperatures
  • Darkening of the tooth
  • Swelling and tenderness in the gums or face
  • A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums
  • Sometimes no symptoms are present

What is the success rate for root canal treatment?

Root canal treatment is highly successful — the procedure has more than a 95% success rate. A tooth with a root canal can provide years of service similar to adjacent teeth that have not been treated. In most instances following a root canal, a crown is required to restore and strengthen your tooth.

What are the alternatives to a root canal?

The only alternative to a root canal procedure is having the tooth extracted and replaced with a bridge, implant, or removable partial denture, which are needed to restore chewing function and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting.

Please request an appointment online for a dental treatment consultation with one of our dental professionals.




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