The prospect of root canal treatment is scary for many people, but the reality is that the procedure does not cause any more pain than other types of dental work, such as a deep filling, for example. The treatment is performed under an anaesthetic, which means that you won’t feel any pain during the procedure itself. You may, however, experience some tenderness once the anaesthetic has worn off. Read on to find out what to expect from the treatment, and how you can manage any discomfort…
A root canal treatment is performed to remove decay from the pulp and root of a damaged tooth. The dental pulp, which is made of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue, can become inflamed and infected as a result of decay, in which case treatment may be necessary.
During the procedure, your dentist will remove any decay and bacteria from the tooth pulp and clean the area before filling and sealing the site of treatment. A crown is often placed to protect and secure the remaining tooth as this helps to reduce the risk of fracture following treatment.
The best way to know if root canal treatment is suitable for you is to see your dentist for a check-up. There are a few symptoms that could be signs that your tooth pulp is infected and needs to be removed. These include pain in the affected tooth that may even spread to your face and jaw; sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks; tooth discolouration; and swollen or tender gums. You may also notice a chip or crack in the affected tooth — sometimes, bacteria enter chips and cracks and can cause inflammation and infection to occur.
The root canal treatment itself does not hurt. Your dentist will use an anaesthetic to ensure that you don’t feel any discomfort during the procedure. That said, you may experience some tenderness after the treatment once the effect of the anaesthetic has worn off. Your dentist may recommend that you take over-the-counter pain medications to manage any discomfort that you feel.
You shouldn’t eat anything until the numbness has worn off. You should also try and avoid chewing on the site of treatment until your permanent crown has been placed. This will help to keep the area clean and prevent damage until the tooth has been properly strengthened.
While you recover from your root canal treatment, try and stick to soft foods that are easy to chew. Some good options include smoothies; mashed vegetables like potatoes; soft fruits; pasta; yoghurt and hummus. Avoid foods that are hard and sticky as these can cause irritation in your mouth and damage or even dislodge your temporary crown. It is also a good idea to avoid very hot or cold foods and drinks as these can exacerbate any sensitivity that you experience.
At Kitchener Street Dental, we offer root canal treatment to patients who are suffering from tooth pain and infection. The treatment is often successful in saving damaged teeth from extraction and can help to alleviate severe pain and discomfort.
Although root canal treatment has a reputation for being an unpleasant experience, our dentists take a sensitive approach and will do their best to make it as pain and stress-free as possible. To find out more about root canal treatment and what it involves, please have a look here.
If you would like to come in and see us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch here or give us a call on (07) 4410 9247. We offer a comprehensive range of dental services, including children’s, cosmetic, general, sedation and restorative dentistry. We also offer orthodontic solutions and treatments for sleep apnoea and tongue tie. To see the full list of treatments that we offer, please have a look here
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