A root canal is a treatment for saving and repairing a damaged tooth instead of removing it. This involves cleaning the canals inside the tooth’s root by removing the nerve and pulp and sealing it. Without this treatment, the surrounding tissue develops an infection, and an abscess starts forming.
The nerve of a tooth is not as crucial to its health and function when the tooth is up beyond the gums. Its primary function is giving the sensation of hot or cold to the tooth. Therefore its absence will not affect the functioning of your tooth.
In the past, root canal treatments were excruciating. With dental improvements and local sedatives, most people experience little or no pain during the procedure. Besides, a root canal is way better than the pain of a decayed tooth.
After extracting the damaged tooth during a root canal, the dentist will replace it with a dental implant, removable partial denture, or a bridge.
What Shows That You Need Root Canal?
Root canal treatment is necessary only in the case of damaged pulp, usually by a bacterial infection. The dentist gets to see this through an x-ray of the tooth. When bacterial infection attacks the pulp, it begins to die, allowing the bacteria to spread widely.
The symptoms of a pulp infection include:
• A loose tooth
• Pain when biting or chewing
• Pain and sensitivity when eating or drinking hot or cold meals
When the infection spreads throughout the canal of your tooth, you will begin to experience more symptoms like;
• Swollen face
• Recurring pain when biting or chewing
• Pus discharge from the infected tooth
• Inflammation of the gum around the affected tooth
• Darkening of the tooth
Most importantly, you should see your dentist when you start having toothache because the infected tooth will not heal by itself. Besides, it will only get worse if the infected tooth stays in your mouth.
Furthermore, root canal treatment may fail if the infection is widely spread. Even antibiotics will not be effective in treating root canal infections.
What to Expect After Root Canal?
When the anesthesia begins to wear off, the numbness fades, and you are likely to start feeling sore on your gums and tooth. Still, your gums will start swelling.
Typically, most dentists will allow you to get over-the-counter painkillers like the common Tylenol or ibuprofen. But, be sure to talk to your dentist if the pain persists and gets worse for a prolonged period.
However, you are likely to go back to your daily activities after a day of the procedure. Though do not chew with the damaged tooth unless the dentist puts a crown over or fills it.
Additionally, your dentist will schedule an appointment a few days after the root canal procedure. During the meeting, the dentist will take x-rays to ensure the infection is over. Also, they will substitute the temporary filling with a permanent one.
If you like, you can ask the dentist to cover your tooth with a permanent dental crown. The advantage of a crown is its natural appearance.
Typically, you will go a couple of weeks before getting used to the new feeling of the tooth after the procedure. But, worry not as this is normal and no cause of alarm.