A root canal is a dental procedure used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or has become infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and blood vessels, which form the pulp, are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Root canals are performed to save the tooth and restore its function without the pain or complications of decay or infection.
Signs that You May Need a Root Canal
You may need a root canal if a cavity has grown very deep or the tooth is cracked or broken. When that happens, bacteria infect the soft tissue inside your tooth, where antibiotics can’t reach. If you are having any of the following symptoms, contact your dentist as you may be a candidate for root canal therapy.
- Severe toothache pain when chewing or any pressure is applied
- Prolonged sensitivity or pain to hot or cold temperatures
- Discoloration or darkening of the tooth
- Swelling or tenderness in the gum tissue surrounding a tooth
- Abscess or infection of the tooth
How is a root canal performed?
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, your dentist will likely recommend the non-surgical treatment or a root canal to eliminate the diseased pulp. Once the damaged pulp is removed, the root canal area is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy usually involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. If there was an infection in your tooth, your dentist will apply medication inside your tooth to heal it.
What happens after treatment?
For the first few days following the completion of a root canal, your tooth may feel sensitive due to natural tissue inflammation, especially if there was pain or infection before the root canal procedure. This sensitivity or discomfort usually can be controlled with over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve).
When your root canal therapy has been completed, our doctors at Grove Avenue will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery. If a problem does occur, however, we are available at all times to respond.
How Grove Can Help!
At Grove Avenue Family & Cosmetic Dentistry we carefully examine your teeth, jaw, gums, and mouth to determine the extent of the problem and recommend what treatment is needed. We emphasize lifelong preventative care and good oral hygiene habits to sustain your beautiful and healthy smile. Grove Avenue Family & Cosmetic Dentistry offers a full range of dental services to meet the individual needs of each patient. If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort, or know it is time for a routine checkup, please contact us today at (804) 285-1378.