Good oral hygiene is a worthy goal in and of itself. It can prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and the embarrassment of bad breath. On the flip side, an unhealthy mouth can lead to serious health problems such as strokes, cardiovascular disease, and even preterm labour.
A regular dental check at least twice a year is one way to keep the teeth and gums healthy. Nowadays, dental procedures are available for people with decayed, fractured, or stained teeth. These can range from dental crowns, dentures, veneers, to root canals. Some dental design services, such as crown placements or veneers, cover either the entire tooth or a portion or front surface of the tooth. Either way, these services sometimes require a root canal treatment to be conducted first to prepare the tooth.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal treatment, also called endodontics, is a treatment to repair a tooth that has been abscessed or badly decayed. The treatment calls for removing the inflamed soft pulp tissue and nerves inside the tooth to save it. When the nerve tissue or the pulp gets damaged, it allows bacteria to multiply and cause an infection. If left untreated, these bacteria can cause bone loss around the tip of the root, and swelling may spread to other areas of the face and neck.
Depending on each case, a root canal treatment can be completed in one, two, or three dental appointments. Once started, it is crucial for patients to complete the entire therapy. A root canal is considered a major dental procedure, so pain after the treatment is completely normal. But the idea that the entire procedure comes with many complications and excruciating pain is nothing but a shopworn myth. In fact, most people report that a root canal procedure is no more painful than a simple dental filling and repair procedure.
What to Expect After a Root Canal Procedure
Following the treatment, it is common for the tooth to feel some sensitivity or tenderness for a few days. Some people also report mild soreness around the jaw for a long time. This is due to natural tissue inflammation. Any discomfort will usually respond well to over-the-counter analgesics. The endodontist might also prescribe stronger medications.
During this period, patients should avoid chewing or biting hard on the affected tooth until the numbness is completely gone. Sticky food such as caramel, gum, or jelly beans should also be avoided. Any directions provided by the endodontist should be followed as instructed to avoid recontamination of the interior of the tooth and prevent the tooth from breaking before it can fully be restored.
Any pain should decrease over time. Some patients, in fact, are able to return to school or work directly following a root canal procedure. To further protect the tooth and restore it to its full function, however, a crown or other restoration filling is placed on it to complete the root restoration process.
Root canal treatments are highly successful with a reported 95% success rate. Still, many people avoid these treatments because of their reputation as an extremely painful procedure. Understanding the advantages of this dental service and following the post-operative care it needs will help ensure a relatively pain-free outcome.