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Root Canal Therapy Explained: Process, Comfort, and Care

Are you experiencing unbearable tooth pain? Does it hurt even when you have a sip of a hot drink or bite into cold food? Does your gum appear to be swollen? Then you may be suffering from an infected tooth and needing root canal therapy. The term ‘root canal’ has become intimidating over the years, even though the truth is that modern root canal therapy is an effective and minimally invasive dental procedure that can save a badly infected or decayed tooth. This article will provide a comprehensive explanation of the process, the comfort and care given during the surgery and the aftermath of root canal therapy.

The Process of Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is one of the most effective methods for saving a tooth that has become infected or decayed. During the procedure, the dentist will start by giving you a local anesthesia. Once the site is numb enough to work on, the dentist will drill a hole into the infected tooth to access the pulp chamber or root canal. This will allow the dentist to remove the dead or decaying tissue and the infection itself. After all of the infected tissues and bacteria are removed from the tooth, the dentist will clean and shape the root canals and pulp chamber using files. This cleaning and shaping process is done to help prevent reinfection of the tooth in the future. After the root canals are cleaned and shaped, the dentist will fill them in and then seal them. This is important to help protect the tooth against future infection.

Comfort during Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is not as painful as most people believe it to be. Although there may be some discomfort, especially during the beginning of the procedure and after local anesthesia wears off, the dentist will take steps to help make you as comfortable as possible. Before the dentist starts the root canal therapy, he or she will give you a local anesthetic to help numb the tooth and surrounding area. This will help eliminate much of the discomfort you would have otherwise felt. Additionally, the dentist may also use a rubber dam or another type of isolation device to keep the oral cavity free of debris and to help make you more comfortable and relaxed during the procedure.

Caring for Your Tooth after Root Canal Therapy

Once the root canal therapy is completed, it is important to care for your tooth properly. Most dentists will recommend that you avoid eating or drinking any hot or cold food or beverage for the first few days after you have a root canal. The dentist may recommend that you take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen to help relieve any discomfort that you may experience from the root canal therapy. Additionally, it is important to brush and floss your teeth every day as normal. This will help to remove any bacteria and prevent any further decay. Lastly, the dentist may also prescribe antibiotics if a significant infection was present.

The Aftermath of Root Canal Therapy

After the root canal therapy is completed, you will likely experience some discomfort and sensitivity in the tooth and surrounding area. Most feelings of discomfort should be gone within a few days. If you continue to experience discomfort that becomes severe or if your tooth became discolored, you should contact your dentist and schedule a follow-up appointment. The final results of the root canal therapy should be noticeable within a few weeks of the procedure. The tooth should be healthy and pain-free after the root canal therapy is complete.

Conclusion

Root canal therapy is an effective and minimally invasive procedure for treating an infected or decayed tooth so that it can be saved. During the procedure itself, the dentist will provide local anesthesia to make you as comfortable as possible. After the procedure, most people will experience some discomfort and sensitivity in the tooth for a few days. Once the root canal therapy has been completed, the tooth will be healthy and free of infection. If you have any additional questions, you should contact your dentist for further information.