Undergoing root canal treatment? What to expect during and after the procedure

If you’ve been experiencing persistent tooth pain, sensitivity to hot and cold, or swollen gums, they may indicate the need for a root canal treatment.

A root canal therapy procedure may be necessary to save your teeth from being extracted due to infection or decay. To understand root canals, let’s first study the anatomy and function of teeth.

The root canal procedure takes place in a hollow chamber called a root canal system or root structure, which houses blood vessels, connective tissues, nerves and tooth pulp tissue (the living center at the heart of the tooth). This area may become infected and decayed due to exposure to harmful bacteria. This infection can spread through the blood vessels or root structure into surrounding structures like bone.

What is Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal treatments involve surgically removing all of the infection. The root structure is then cleaned and disinfected to remove any infection or decay that may be present before sealing the root back up with a protective filling. This common dental procedure is typically an option for people who have had previous root canal treatments, and those who cannot undergo a root canal because of other medical conditions.

If you notice any of the symptoms we mentioned earlier, it could signal that you may need a root canal treatment.

Root Canal Procedure

Before beginning the root canal treatment, it is important for your dentist to conduct an initial evaluation. They will perform a root canal if they suspect that the tooth has become infected and decayed because of bacteria, and decide root canal therapy is your best option for saving it.

During the root canal procedure, you may need an injection to numb any discomfort or pain you may experience. The root canal itself typically takes place under local anaesthesia (numbing). Once the root is opened up, your dentist will use a special drill to remove all infection and decay.

Once the root canal treatment has been completed, your dentist will seal up the root canal system and fill the tooth. They will also make sure that your tooth is stable enough to withstand normal chewing pressure. Once stable enough, an artificial crown will be placed on top of it.

If root canals cannot save your teeth, you may need root canal therapy combined with a dental bridge or implant. A root canal may also be required if you have had previous root canals done, but the tooth has become affected by an infection again due to decay and/or root exposure.

Risks & Benefits of Root Canal

As with any medical procedure, there are risks and benefits associated with root canal therapy. These include the possibility that the root canal may not be possible due to damage to your tooth or surrounding structures, the risk of root resorption, and the chance that filling the root structure may not be possible if it is too large or damaged. Root canal treatment also has a risk of root resorption, which can threaten the root’s structural integrity.

After Root Canal Treatment

If you have recently undergone a root canal, you should expect some mild to moderate pain or soreness in the area where the procedure was performed, or near your cheekbone/jaw line. The use of anaesthesia during the procedure will numb any discomfort you feel while your dentist is working. Once it wears off, however, you may experience some soreness and other sensations.

It’s essential to follow up with your dentist after root canal therapy to restore the tooth that has undergone the procedure. A crown or filling might be used to protect the treated tooth. Until the crown is in place, it’s advisable to avoid chewing on the treated tooth. When your dentist tells you it’s OK to clean your teeth again, use a soft-bristled toothbrush. It’s also essential to wait at least 24 hours after receiving any anesthesia during a root canal before eating and drinking.

In case you experience severe pain or swelling after root canal therapy, you should see your dentist as root canal pain should decrease over time. If you still experience pain or swelling, you should see your dentist. Most people need one to two sessions for a root canal to be successful, but there are situations where root canal treatments are unsuccessful, and a person can experience more pain.

The mild pain and soreness associated with root canal recovery should not last for long. However, if it lasts longer than expected or experiences the following symptoms, contact your dentist immediately: pain or pressure that doesn’t fade after two days or swelling in the area surrounding the treated teeth.

Overall, taking proper care of your teeth and mouth after a root canal is crucial to reducing any discomfort you may experience. It’s also essential to follow up with your dentist to ensure the success of the root canal therapy.

Root canal therapy is a common dental procedure that can help relieve pain caused by an infected or abscessed tooth.

If you are experiencing symptoms that may indicate a root canal issue, book an appointment with our Friendly Dentist in Molonglo Valley, Canberra. Contact Molonglo Dental Surgery at 02 6287 1222.

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