Did you know that more than 15 million root canals are performed each year? If you do the math, that’s over 41,000 root canals a day, according to the American Association of Endodontists. That’s a lot of procedures a day – so you can see that it’s not an uncommon procedure. What’s a modern root canal treatment like and how do you care for your teeth afterwards? At Mountain Aire Dentistry we walk you through every step of the way of a root canal so you know exactly what to expect.
If you take a deep dive into what a root canal is, you’ll learn that it’s an endodontic treatment. In Greek, “Endo” is the world for “inside,” and “odont” is the word for “tooth.” When you put that together, an endodontic treatment is something that works with the inside of the tooth, which means a root canal is one of these treatments.
This treatment is needed when the pulp inside of the tooth is infected or damaged. Dental pulp is the soft center of the tooth. In the pulp, you can find blood vessels and connective tissue. The pulp also contains a nerve, which is also known as the root of the tooth. Root canal treatments are designed to clean bacteria from an infected root. Roots can become infected from injury, cavities, or even just plain old genetics.
When you have infected pulp, it can cause a multitude of painful problems. Not only can it lead to tooth sensitivity, but Healthline states that it can also cause:
In severe cases, you might find that you have a fever and persistent bad taste in the mouth. However, sometimes you might not feel any pain at all, but a dentist can tell you if you are showing signs of infection when you go in for your regular checkups.
Remember, if you’re in pain your body is trying to tell you it needs help. It might not be a root canal you need, but Dr. Berry can help you find what will work best for you.
A root canal is a good alternative to tooth extraction. Benefits can include relieving pain and helping your teeth healthy again. When you save your natural teeth with a root canal, you allow for better chewing, a normal bite, and a natural look. Additionally, you also protect your other teeth from excessive wear and tear because they won’t have to make up the slack of the injured tooth.
When you have a root canal done, you’re avoiding having to have a tooth pulled. If you have a tooth that has become infected, it can eventually hurt the surrounding bone if left untreated. When you take action early on, you can save yourself from much worse dental pain in the future – this is why regular dental checkups are important!
With the modern technology we use, the risks of a root canal are almost no different than that of getting a filling. We will use anesthesia to help numb the painful area while we work so you have minimal discomfort. If you have an infection, we might prescribe an antibiotic to kill the infection and help you get back to normal more quickly after the procedure.
Some minor pain and discomfort is normal after a root canal treatment is done. Any pain that a patient feels once they’re home can often be treated with over-the-counter medicine. To help make sure your tooth heals properly, it’s important to continue brushing and flossing regularly.
If you find that you have some inflammation after the procedure, we also suggest you do a mouth rinse with warm salt water. This can help relieve the inflammation. If you’ve never done this, it’s easy! Add warm water to a heat-safe mug or cup and add up to 1/2 a teaspoon of salt. Swish it around while warm in your mouth for 15 seconds, then spit out.
We provide endodontic treatment for our patients that is unparalleled. We want to send you home with a healthy smile and strong teeth. You can rest assured knowing you’re in the best hands for your dental care by coming here to Mountain Aire Dentistry. If you are in pain, call us today for an appointment: (303)-731-7755.