A root canal might be the last thing you want to deal with when you have a toothache, but the truth is that it’s one of the safest, most effective ways to treat dental problems that can no longer be handled with basic dental care. However, not all root canals are created equal—some dentists might use outdated methods that can cause more damage than good if you aren’t careful.
When it comes to dental care, you can’t afford to take any risks with your teeth. Even if you maintain excellent oral hygiene and watch out for potential signs of dental problems, root canals may still be necessary at some point in your life.
Fortunately, the procedure isn’t as scary as it sounds, so here’s everything you need to know about root canals – from how they work to how much they cost to what it feels like when one is being performed on you.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a treatment used to save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. The procedure involves removing the damaged tissue inside the tooth, cleaning and disinfecting it, and then filling it with a special material. Root canals are usually done in one or two visits to the dentist. They can be used to treat both primary (baby) teeth and permanent teeth.
What Happens During the Root Canal Treatment?
During the root canal treatment, you will be given local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth. The dentist will then make an opening in the tooth and remove the damaged tissue. Once the tooth is clean, it will be sealed with a filling or a crown.
You don’t need to be alarmed if you need a root canal. The procedure is quite common, and most people have no problems with it. However, if you’re nervous about your upcoming root canal treatment, talk to your dentist and remember they are there to help. They will take every step necessary to ensure you receive a quality experience when undergoing a root canal treatment.
What Can I Expect After the Treatment?
After your root canal treatment, you can expect your tooth to feel sensitive for a few days. This is normal and will go away. You may also have some swelling in your gum tissue. Again, this is normal and should go away within a few days. Be sure to take it easy for the first 24 hours after your treatment, and avoid chewing on hard foods. You should also avoid using straws, as they can cause suction and irritate your gums.
How Should I Care for My Teeth After the Procedure?
You may experience some soreness for a few days after the procedure. To help with discomfort, take over-the-counter pain medication and use a cold compress on your face. Again, avoid chewing on hard foods and chewing gum.
Gently brush your teeth twice a day with a soft toothbrush. Be careful not to irritate the gums around the treated tooth. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times a day. This will help keep the area clean and free of infection.
Make sure to see your dentist for follow-up appointments. They will need to check that the root canal is healing properly. With proper care, your teeth should feel better within a few days and will be back to normal within a couple of weeks.