Root canal treatment is often recommended when a tooth is infected or inflamed from either injury or decay. A root canal is needed when the nerve inside a tooth is injured to the stage it has died and is no longer able to rehabilitate on its own. Root canal treatment is utilized to remove the damaged or diseased nerve tissue so the natural tooth can be preserved rather than extracted.
An infected tooth usually gives plenty of signals that you should see your dentist. Some symptoms may indicate the necessity for root canal treatment, and you should make your dentist aware of any of the following warning signs:
• Severe pain caused by hot or cold triggers
• Pain caused by biting or chewing
• Pain with no specific cause, or pain that lasts longer than 10 seconds
• A foul odor or taste near the aching or injured tooth
• A large visible cavity that compromises the integrity of the tooth
• Pus draining from the affected area
• Swelling in your jaw or neck near the affected tooth
• Tooth discoloration or darkening
• Swelling and irritation in the gum tissue surrounding the affected tooth
The level of discomfort you experience may vary from slight to extreme and may throb as if it has its own heartbeat. The pain may also lessen or intensify as you change your position, such as going from sitting to standing. Teeth that may ultimately require root canal treatment can cause discomfort enough to wake you from your sleep, or they may cause very little pain. If you are experiencing any of these signs, you could need a root canal procedure and should contact your dentist immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment.
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After your root canal procedure at our Shreveport LA dental office, you may feel some discomfort in the gums surrounding your tooth. This tenderness is generally caused by tools used to isolate your tooth from the surrounding area. Any soreness you experience should be minor and should dissipate within one or two days.
It is not uncommon for the tooth itself to be tender following a root canal procedure. Because the most common source of pain in this case stems from inflammation of the tissues surrounding the tooth’s root, over-the-counter pain relievers with anti-inflammatory properties such as aspirin or ibuprofen are recommended. Your endodontist may have prescribed a narcotic analgesic that provides a higher level of pain relief. Check with your endodontist to be certain that any over-the-counter medication you take is right for you.
Do not wait to take your pain medication until your pain is severe. Narcotic pain relievers can make you feel sleepy or dizzy.
Do not eat anything until the numbness in your mouth wears off. Eating while your mouth is numb may cause you to bite your tongue or cheek. Do not bite or chew hard foods on the treated tooth until it is fully restored by your endodontist.
In some cases, a root canal procedure can lead to an infection which can become serious if left untreated. Often, endodontists will prescribe an antibiotic. Be sure to take the full course of any antibiotic you are given.
If you experience any difficulty that seems out of the ordinary, contact your endodontist immediately. Many times, you will be told that what you are experiencing is routine and can be handled by you with no direct assistance from them.
Call the endodontist immediately if you have a fever, experience pain that does not lessen with pain medication, or if your new filling feels loose or falls out. Also call immediately if your tooth cracks, breaks or hurts when you bite down, or if you have pain or swelling that spreads up your gums and cheek. Based on their knowledge and experience, your endodontist will give you the best advice for your specific situation.Read More »
Root canal treatment has a reputation as being painful, but many times the pain accompanying a severely damaged tooth is even worse than the discomfort of treatment. If your tooth is damaged or infected, the pain will only increase until you have the tooth properly repaired with root canal treatment.
All teeth have roots, and inside the roots are canals and nerves. When you have tooth decay, it can keep digging deeper and deeper into the tooth until it reaches the center. That’s when the nerve inside the tooth is triggered to feel pain. That’s when you know for certain that it’s time for root canal treatment.
The procedure involves removing the pulp inside the tooth and cleaning the area thoroughly, so that it can be sealed and protected from future problems. A local anesthetic is used to numb the area so that you can’t feel the tooth or its associated nerves. Actually the root canal procedure itself doesn’t hurt, since the anesthetic lasts throughout treatment. You will likely experience soreness afterwards, but it usually is nothing compared to the sharp pain of the damaged tooth before treatment. Taking over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen will decrease discomfort and speed recovery.
If you have been putting off root canal treatment due to the anticipation of the pain involved, remember that the sooner you have it taken care of, the sooner your pain will go away. Once you begin treatment in the dental chair, the worst of your pain is probably already over.Read More »
While hearing the term “root canal” may make you want to run away, the symptoms of needing root canal treatment are usually worse than the procedure itself. Root canal therapy these days can be compared to getting a regular filling. That is likely worth it as opposed to suffering through severe pain of needing treatment or losing your tooth completely.
Why is root canal treatment needed?
The interior of your tooth called the pulp and its associated root canal can become infected, inflamed, or otherwise damaged. It contains nerves which can cause intense pressure and pain when irritated. Some common reasons that people need root canal treatment include severe tooth decay, cracked tooth, multiple dental procedures that compromise the tooth, or trauma to the face or mouth.
Are there common signs that treatment is required?
Sometimes there are no symptoms at all, so it’s important to maintain regular dental checkups to make sure there are no problems. However, signs that treatment may be needed include sensitivity to hot or cold, pressure, tooth discoloration, swelling near a tooth, or a persistent pimple appearing on the gum line.
What is the procedure?
Anesthesia is used to numb the area, and a drill will be used to access the root canal area. The damaged tissue will be removed and the area will be thoroughly cleaned before it is filled with a special material. The tooth will be sealed to prevent future bacteria from entering, and X-rays will be taken to ensure everything is secure. The procedure may take between one to four hours depending on the case. Most patients compare the procedure to getting a regular filling, and pain can typically be managed afterwards with over-the-counter remedies.
Can I avoid root canal treatment?
If your dentist recommends this treatment, it is usually the best course of action. Decay that has progressed to this point really can’t be treated another way, unless you are willing to have the tooth extracted. Most dentists advise root canal treatment over tooth extraction nearly every time.
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With a reputation of being one of the worst dental procedures around, root canal treatment is sometimes the only way to save a damaged tooth. If decay or infection reaches inside the tooth to the pulp, it must be removed and filled with a safe material that restores your tooth’s health and allows you to keep your tooth. Advancements in dentistry have improved root canal treatment so that it is not nearly as bad as its reputation.
How does pulp become damaged?
The root canals of your teeth contain blood vessels and nerves that contribute to the health of your teeth. When the outer layers of your teeth are neglected, infection and decay can reach the root canals and damage the blood vessels and nerves. The pulp can die and become painful, swollen, and even abscessed.
What does root canal treatment involve?
The root canal is cleaned and damaged tissue is removed during this procedure. Usually performed in two or more dental visits, anesthesia is used to make you more comfortable during treatment. Antibiotics may be prescribed before treatment if an active infection is present. To perform the root canal treatment, the dentist accesses the tooth’s pulp chamber with a dental drill and then removes the infected tissue. Once the entire area is thoroughly cleaned, a temporary filling will be placed. During the next visit, the root canal will be filled and a crown will be placed on top to protect the tooth from breaking in the future.
What can I expect after treatment?
Your root dentist in Shreveport will provide a list of safe foods to eat during the treatment process and initially afterwards, which usually means eating soft items and avoiding sugar. Over-the-counter pain medications are usually sufficient in dealing with discomfort, as most patients describe the process as similar to getting a regular tooth filling. With proper care, the tooth that received root canal treatment will be restored for a lifetime.
Endodontics is the process for eliminating infection inside your tooth and protecting it from future infections. It involves the pulp of your tooth, which is the material on the inside. The term root canal has become synonymous with endodontic treatment. With a longstanding negative reputation, improvements in this field are helping to turn around the image of root canal treatment.
When is root canal treatment necessary?
When your tooth pulp becomes damaged or infected, it can lead to pain when you eat, drink, or even just lay down. The pulp may become inflamed and very sensitive, causing a toothache that you can’t ignore. The infection may spread to the bone and supporting tissue, and cause further issues if untreated. Root canal treatment is the solution.
What is the procedure?
Patients are often referred to an endodontist to perform this procedure. First the area will be deadened with a local anesthetic, so that the affected nerve can be drilled and the pulp can be removed from the tooth. The pulp chamber and associated root canal will be cleaned, sterilized, and sealed to prevent re-infection. The natural structure of your tooth can be saved with this process.
Are there other options?
If your tooth is severely damaged and weakened, root canal treatment is the only choice. It is the best way to save your tooth and relieve your discomfort.
How long does root canal treatment take?
Specific treatment times vary depending on the tooth’s condition, but root canal treatment can usually be done is only one or two dental visits. After a short recovery time, you will feel much better and be glad you pursued treatment.
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When your dentist suggests you need a root canal, your first reaction may be fear. A root canal has a reputation of being a scary procedure filled with pain and heartache. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. If you learn more about the procedure and why it may be the best thing for your health, you may be able to replace your fear with knowledge.
The thing to blame for most root canals is tooth decay. If you neglect getting proper treatment such as a filling for a decaying tooth, your tooth will continue being damaged until the decay reaches the core. That contains the pulp that keeps your tooth healthy. Decay compromises your tooth’s health and causes pain in the associated nerve. Often there is also an infection involved. When your tooth is this severely damaged, a root canal is likely your best option.
The purpose of a root canal procedure is to remove all of the decayed pulp inside of your tooth’s root. Then the canal will be cleaned and sealed, and a filling will be placed in the clean interior of your tooth. If your tooth has been severely harmed by decay, it is sometimes also necessary to place a crown on top of your tooth for complete restoration.
Pain is the main thing that patients are afraid of when it comes to a root canal. In actuality, many people say that it’s no more painful than a regular dental filling. Local anesthetic is used to numb the nerve and tissue, and it lasts throughout the procedure so that you don’t experience pain during treatment. Since most patients have pain prior to a root canal due to the decay or infection, you might even feel less pain afterwards than before the procedure. You will likely feel soreness, as opposed to sharp pain that you may have had before treatment. Anti-inflammatory medications can relieve your discomfort and aid recovery.
In the end, having a root canal takes care of your oral health problem and gives you back a comfortable mouth. It is better to opt for treatment than to continue with pain and further complications.
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