Many people associate root canals with discomfort and pain. However this couldn’t be further from the truth. With advancements in modern technology, undergoing a root canal (otherwise known as endodontic therapy) is actually no less painful than having a filling. The procedure is carried out to preserve teeth with roots that are badly infected. Often, if not dealt with, the tooth and the surrounding gum can become incredibly painful as the infection takes hold. Thankfully a successful root canal not only eradicates the pain, but can save the tooth too.
So how does root canal therapy work?
During one or more visits our team will look to remove the damaged inner pulp from the infected tooth. After the area has been anesthetized a small hole is drilled into the tooth and the infected pulp removed. The area is then cleaned out and back-filled with a tough thermoplastic substance (usually gutta-percha). The tooth is then resealed and more often than not, a dental crown is placed over it for added protection. Once completed, a tooth restored with a root canal and dental crown, will blend in seamlessly with a patient’s other teeth. What’s more it can last for many years to come.
How do I know if I need endodontic therapy?
If decay or tooth damage has allowed bacteria to infect the inner part of your tooth, then you could be a candidate for a root canal. In addition if you’re looking to preserve your natural tooth rather than extract it, or you feel intense tooth pain, sensitivity to hot and cold liquids or tender/swollen gums, then a root canal might be the right treatment for you.
What can I expect after treatment?
For the first few days after endodontic treatment your tooth may feel slightly sensitive especially if there was much pain previously. This is usually managed by taking over-the-counter pain killers such as Tylenol or Advil. In certain cases, prescription antibiotics may be necessary but Dr Akinwande and the team suggests that any sensitivity should subside completely within a few days and normal brushing and flossing habits can be resumed.
What are the main benefits of undergoing a root canal?
The main benefit is that a patient gets to keep their tooth and avoids other dental problems associated with an extraction, such as drifting and misaligned teeth. No matter how good modern tooth replacements are (and some like implants are incredibly effective) nothing is as good as your natural tooth.
If you’re experiencing any kind of tooth pain, then you shouldn’t have to suffer. Instead contact Dr Akinwande and the team at Chesterfield Dentistry who can help. To make a booking, call us on (314) 469 6429 today.