Anatomy of a Tooth
The Facts About Root Canals: The Process and The Recovery
Root Canals 101
Endodontic treatment is a treatment for the inside of the tooth. ‘’Endo’ means inside and ‘odont’ is Greek for the word tooth. A root canal is one example of endodontic treatment.
A root canal is a procedure to eliminate infection from the tooth. It is designed to repair and most importantly, save a severely infected tooth. When your dentist recommends a root canal, you should have one. When one avoids the procedure, pain, decay, infection and potential loss of your tooth may result.
The dentist extracts the pulp, and the pulp chamber is hollowed out. The dentist reshapes the tooth in preparation for filling material. This material will seal the hole. It is designed to repair and most importantly, save a severely infected tooth. A root canal procedure should most definitely take place if recommended. Pain, decay, infection that can spread and potential loss of your tooth may result if a patient elects not to have this needed procedure.
Parts of a Tooth
To understand endodontic treatment, knowing the parts of the tooth is essential
Under the hard, white enamel and dentin, there is a layer of pulp (soft tissue). This tissue contains nerves and connective tissues. The pulp tissue extends from the crown all the way to the root.
Will Getting a Root Canal Be Painful?
Root canals have a bad reputation for being equated with pain and the thought of having one does not excite most people. However, in truth, the root canal procedure itself is not painful. The pain is caused by the infection, and not the root canal procedure. In fact, root canals relieve pain by treating the underlying infection.
What to Expect When Having a Root Canal
Your dentist performs the root canal in one to two visits. With modern endodontic treatments, the treatment time is much quicker than previous methods were. Your dentist will examine your tooth to determine the best course of action for your procedure.
The Root Canal Procedure
- X-rays will be taken to pinpoint where the decay is, so your dentist knows which tooth to work on throughout the procedure. A local anesthetic is applied. When the tooth is numb, a dental dam will be applied to keep the tooth clean and free from saliva during the root canal procedure.
- The dentist makes an opening in the crown of the tooth. A small instrument is used to clean the pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals, and a little space is shaped and filled.
- The clean space in your tooth is filled with a rubber-like material and cement to seal the canal entirely.
- In most root canal procedures, the dentist places a temporary filling in the opening.
- Finally, the root canal procedure is complete. A crown may be placed on the tooth to protect it and allow the tooth to function normally.
What to Expect After a Root Canal
Ah, you can relax now that your root canal treatment is complete. Your dentist will send you home with pain management and instructions on how to care for your tooth during its recovery. Following the instructions for care is essential. If there is a temporary filling or crown in place, it can fracture if not treated gently.
You may feel some tenderness and soreness in your jaw after the anesthesia wears off. Taking over-the-counter medication should relieve these symptoms. If not, your dentist can prescribe a stronger, narcotic. It may take some time for this treated tooth to feel ‘normal.’
Call your doctor if:
- You have severe pain or pressure.
- You have visible swelling inside or outside your mouth.
- You have any allergic reactions to medication.
- Your bite feels uneven.
- Your temporary tooth comes out of place.
You will need to return to your dentist upon completion of the root canal for your final crown. Remember, a treated and restored tooth can last as long as your natural teeth. Take care of your teeth just as you did before by brushing flossing, having regular dental checkups and cleanings.
If you are in need of a root canal, call Dr. Gary Kodish to schedule one today before decay, infection, and pain set in your tooth. We will provide you with expert dental care in our welcoming office. Dr. Kodish offers financing plans.
Dr. Gary Kodish welcomes you to Kodish Dental Group. Here is Fort Lauderdale, Dr. Gary Kodish and his team believe in providing patients with the best treatment available. We support a ‘full care’ dentistry environment, meaning that we will recommend the services needed to bring your smile to a state of optimal health, as well as provide you with a personalized prevention plan to address further concerns. This level of dental care is the dental care we would give members of our own family!
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