Is your tooth badly decayed or infected? Are you experiencing extreme pain in your tooth? The chances are you need root canal treatment (RCT) right away.
Well, it may sound scarier at first, but you need not fret. It just has got a bad rap. The fact is–root canal therapy helps relieve pain and increase the life of your tooth. Also, it saves your smile and protects your overall dental health.
You might have a lot of questions regarding this treatment. Read on to find the detailed answers and get ready to undergo RCT.
What is a root canal?
A root canal is a part of a tooth that is walled by a pulp. This pulp is further surrounded by dentin, and it is covered by a crown (which we call a tooth).
The treatment of the root canal is done when the bacteria invade the pulp, infecting it badly and causing pain or leading to an abscess. This usually happens when a cavity is not treated on time. The decay can also happen due to repeated dental procedures on the tooth. In some cases, this treatment is needed when a tooth gets cracked due to an accident or any other trauma. In the end, RCT is the only option left to save the tooth from further decay.
If the tooth can’t be saved, it can be extracted and replaced with a dental bridge or dental implant.
Signs you need root canal treatment
If your tooth needs root canal treatment, you will notice these symptoms:
- Persistent tooth pain
- Sharp pain while chewing
- Loose tooth
- A chipped or cracked tooth
- Swollen, tender, and painful gums
- Sensitivity to heat and cold
- Pimple on the gums
- Tooth discoloration
- Darkened gums
- Swollen jaw
How is a root canal performed?
Most people are afraid of undergoing this treatment when they should not. Getting this treatment will eventually relieve the pain that they have been facing. After that, they can eat and live life normally.
Now moving on to the step-by-step procedure:
The first step in this therapy is an x-ray of the tooth. It is taken to determine if a root canal treatment is needed. The practitioner will then check how much infection is there and if it has invaded the surrounding bone or not. The shape of the root canals will also be checked.
You will be given local anesthesia to numb the area. You won’t feel any pain, and in case you do, inform your dentist.
Opening and cleaning
The dentist will create a tiny opening on the surface of the infected tooth. Then, small files will be used to remove the dead pulp tissue inside the root canal. Also, the area will be cleaned by using irrigation solutions.
After that, the canals are filled with a biochemical dental substance (gutta-percha). If the infection is still there, your dentist will do the temporary filling to seal the tooth. This will keep food particles and saliva out of the treatment area. Your dentist will choose to wait for some days before sealing the tooth. Furthermore, you will be given medication to reduce infection.
If there is no infection, then the tooth will be sealed immediately.
Installing a crown
This is the last step of RCT, where a crown or other restoration is used to protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking. Not all patients require this additional restoration as it depends on how much the tooth was decayed. Your dentist will decide if you need it or not.
Facts about root canal
- This complete treatment takes one to three appointments. Each tooth is different, and procedures vary from person to person. If the infection in your tooth is more or it is cracked, then you would need multiple appointments.
- Root canal therapy is safe and effective. Moreover, the treatment increases the life of the tooth. That is why it is always better to opt for the RCT instead of tooth extraction.
- If a tooth is left untreated, the infection will spread into the bones, gums, and ultimately to the bloodstream. This will further cause the loss of facial tissues. So, getting root canals treated on time is vital to prevent further infection.
- This treatment offers immediate relief because the infection will be completely removed. However, if you still face throbbing pain, get a fever, or rash, see the dentist without any delay.
- The cost of root canal treatment totally depends on the individual’s case. You may find it expensive, but it’s worth the expense.
- RCT saves the tooth, but you need to practice good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing at least two times a day, especially before bed, is essential to keep the cavity or infection away. Make sure to be gentle around the treated area for 1-2 days.
- Take antibiotics and other medication as prescribed by your dentist. This will help alleviate the infection.
What to eat after getting a root canal?
You can eat soft foods 1 hour after a root canal. However, it is recommended to wait to eat until after the anesthetic has worn off.
Here is the list of foods that you can eat after getting a root canal:
Polenta, pasta, quinoa, legumes, soft cereals, soup, fruit smoothies, mangos, bananas, peaches, pears, tuna salad, eggs, sushi, mashed potatoes, applesauce, oatmeal, pudding, milkshakes, thin noodles, rice, soft bread, peanut butter, sorbet, soft cheese, avocado, meatloaf, canned chicken and hummus.
Make sure you avoid sticky foods (caramel, candies) and chewy foods (crusty bread, steak). Hard foods, crunchy foods, and spicy foods should also be avoided at all costs. Do not consume very hot or cold foods as well as drinks for a day.
Following these recommendations will help the treated area to heal faster.
Still have questions about what to eat? Feel free to contact us.
Get the best root canal treatment in Pinole
If you have severe tooth decay, then you must consider getting this treatment right away. At Tara Hills Dental, we specialize in providing the best root canal surgery. We understand that you are already in intense pain due to infection and are afraid of getting this treatment. You do not have to worry. Our dentist is highly trained and uses the latest technology to give you a painless experience.
So, are you ready to undergo root canal therapy? Request an appointment today.