A root canal is a common, routine dental procedure that clears infection and inflammation inside the tooth's pulp chamber and roots. Typically, a root canal takes between 30 minutes to an hour, though it can take longer if the patient has multiple roots to treat.
Benefits of a Root Canal
- Saves natural teeth from extraction
- Keeps infection from spreading to nearby teeth
- Preserves the tooth's root system, preventing jawbone deterioration
- Virtually painless
- Improves oral and overall health
The Root Canal Procedure
First, the dentist performs an examination and takes an X-ray to diagnose the problem. The dentist administers a local anesthetic to keep you comfortable during the procedure. The dentist then places a dental dam or sheet around the tooth to keep the tooth clean.
Next, the dentist opens the tooth's crown. They use scaled-down instruments to clear the pulp chamber and root canals of infected material. The dentist files the inside of the tooth and root canals to prevent future recurrence.
After cleaning and shaping the tooth's interior, the dentist fills it with a biocompatible, rubber-like gutta-percha material. The dentist places a temporary crown or filling to protect the tooth. Often, we can place a same-day permanent crown.
Recovery From a Root Canal
Generally, a root canal takes about one to two weeks to heal. You may experience minor discomfort after the root canal, but your tooth will feel much better than before the procedure.
Avoid chewing hard or crunchy foods on the tooth with the root canal. Maintain oral hygiene by brushing and flossing as directed.
In some cases, you may experience side effects after the procedure. If you experience discomfort, you can take over-the-counter pain medication, but you should feel better in a few days. You may have minor swelling around the tooth.
Frequently Asked Questions About Root Canals
What are the signs that I might need a root canal?
- Extreme sensitivity to hot and cold that persists after removing the food or drink
- The tooth appears darker, either gray or black
- Painful toothache, especially when biting down on the tooth
- Pimples on the gums (abscesses)
- Swollen, tender gums
If you experience these symptoms, call us as soon as possible for an appointment. If you ignore these symptoms, you could put your other teeth and your general health in danger.
Are root canals painful?
Root canals have a reputation for discomfort, but dental procedures have advanced greatly in the past decades. Getting a root canal is no worse today than getting a large filling. If you feel anxious, we offer sedation options to keep you comfortable.
Call Jacobs and Thatcher Dentistry
Don't wait for treatment if you believe you need a root canal. We can relieve your pain and will do our best to preserve your natural tooth. Please call our Sun City Center, FL, office at 813-634-1932 to schedule an appointment.