Root canal therapy is a vital treatment that can make the difference when it comes to saving an infected tooth. If your heart starts to race at the thought of a root canal, you are not alone, but you should know that this therapy’s bad reputation is mostly undeserved thanks to significant advances in dentistry.
Do I Need a Root Canal?
Root canal therapy is needed when the root canal of your tooth, the portion that houses the pulp chamber and the nerve, becomes infected. Some of the symptoms associated with an infection of the root canal include:
- Pain that increases with biting and chewing
- Swelling in the gums or cheek near the tooth
- A pimple-like sore on the gums
- Sensitivity in the teeth that worsens with temperature change
- Discoloration in your tooth
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please call our office today for an examination. Dr. Drower will discuss your symptoms with you, examine your teeth and gums, and perform an x-ray. If a root canal is warranted, rest assured that the procedure will relieve your pain and return your tooth back to full function.
The Root Canal Process
Before beginning your root canal, the area will be thoroughly numbed to make sure that you don’t feel a thing. Dr. Drower will then create a hole in the tooth to provide access to the root canal itself so that the infection and damaged tooth material can be removed.
Using a set of specialized tools, Dr. Drower will clean out the inside of the tooth, making sure that all the damaged and infected material is removed. If necessary, a local antibiotic may be placed into the cavity of the tooth to kill off any remaining infection. Dr. Drower will then fill the tooth and seal it. Once sealed, you may also receive a crown to protect and strengthen the tooth. We can make crowns right here in our office using CEREC technology, which makes this process much faster and eliminates the need for a temporary crown.
Following Your Root Canal
You may experience some discomfort or inflammation in the hours following a root canal. This is the body’s natural reaction to infection, and it usually subsides by the next day. We can discuss medication and other treatments to help reduce your discomfort and swelling. While we recommend taking it easy following your root canal to give your body time to heal, you should be able to return to your normal level of activity the following day. We will also discuss any precautions you should take while your tooth heals.
Typically, once your crown is in place, your tooth should be restored to full function. We may ask you to return to our office so we can check on the placement of your restoration and make sure that your infection is completely gone. The success rate of root canal therapy is about 95 percent.
If you are experiencing symptoms that may indicate the need for a root canal, please call our office today for an examination with Keene, NH dentist Dr. Sean Drower.