Most people cringe at the thought of a root canal because of the common misconception that the procedure causes pain.
In fact, root canal therapy (RCT) is one of the most effective options to eliminate tooth pain altogether.
Typically, RCT is performed to save infected teeth. In the U.S. alone, root canals save roughly 24 million teeth each year.
Signs You Need A Root Canal
Some patients who require root canal therapy experience little to no symptoms. However, signs that a root canal is necessary include:
- Dull, lingering toothache
- Dark tooth discoloration
- Swollen, bleeding gums
- Sensitivity when chewing or biting
Left untreated, severe decay or dental trauma may cause damage to a tooth’s pulp, the center part of the tooth made up of living tissue, and lead to infection in the tooth.
A root canal involves the removal of the pulp, which is replaced with either a permanent crown or filling to seal off the canal from the surrounding tissues. In addition to eliminating tooth pain, root canals are the best alternative to tooth extraction.
What Happens After a Root Canal?
Once your root canal therapy is completed, you will need to return to your dentist to complete your tooth restoration. With the right treatment, a restored tooth can last just as long as the rest of your natural teeth.
A tooth that has gone through root canal therapy is weakened, brittle and prone to fractures. Your dentist may suggest the following treatment options to support the fragile tooth:
- Crown placement
If your tooth did not have a crown before RCT, you will need one placed right away. After a root canal, the tooth will become dry and brittle because the nerve and blood supply have been removed. A dental crown holds the tooth together, providing much-needed strength and durability.
- Permanent filling
If the infected tooth already has a crown, your endodontist (a dentist who specializes in saving teeth) will likely create a small access point in the top of the crown to perform the root canal therapy. In this case, your dentist may place a tooth-colored filling on the crown. Permanent fillings (composite resins) create solid, natural-looking repairs and strengthen your smile.
Care After Root Canal Therapy
After root canal therapy, you should continue your normal dental routine, brushing twice a day and flossing daily. You may experience minor inflammation and sensitivity for a few days following treatment.
At Dentistry at East Piedmont, we provide a thorough new patient consultation so you can learn about ways you can improve your smile. If you think you need root canal therapy or are experiencing tooth pain, our dentists will thoroughly examine your teeth to determine the severity of your condition and best course of action.
Contact Dentistry at East Piedmont or call us at (770) 321-5558 to schedule your new patient appointment.