Once upon a time, a root canal was a dental procedure to be dreaded and feared. This is no longer the case! Due to medical advancements and pain treatment, anyone can have a root canal and recover very quickly with little or no distress.
The Root Canal Basics
Often, a patient will see a dentist because they are complaining of a toothache. Sometimes there is decay and the doctor will simply drill away damage and fill the tooth. However, sometimes the damage to the tooth is so deep it affects the “pulp” inside and puts the roots and the tooth at risk. In order to save the tooth, a dental professional may recommend a root canal.
During the procedure (also called “endodontic treatment”) bacteria is removed from the inside of the tooth and its surrounding areas. This helps the tooth to heal and prevents reinfection. This procedure is often less expensive than extraction (removal of the tooth) and installing an implant. Root canals help people keep their natural teeth for their entire lives.
Usually, the dentist will apply a gel to the affected area to numb the gums. Then an anaesthetic is applied which will numb all the gums, teeth, and tongue while the procedure is performed. For those who have great concerns about pain, a doctor may also administer nitrous oxide gas (“laughing gas”) to reduce discomfort and help the patient relax.
After a root canal, lips and gums may remain numb for a few hours. Some throbbing pain is to be expected, but it can be handled by taking over-the-counter medicine, like naproxen sodium, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen. Prescriptions are also available, but the pain only lasts a day or two.
If you’re concerned that your tooth pain might be serious and your teeth are at risk, call us at Ohana Dental. We can put your fears to rest and come up with an affordable plan to get you the care you need.