Root canal therapy is a procedure used to preserve a tooth that had been severely damaged or decayed. Without this treatment, the tooth usually must be extracted, but root canal treatment removes the infected tissue and reinforces the damaged tooth so it can be used normally. Recovery is usually not greatly different from recovering from having a crown or filling placed.
Root Canal Therapy
A tooth that requires root canal therapy generally has suffered severe damage or severe decay. Infection develops in the tooth pulp, which is the soft tissue in the tooth’s interior. The tooth pulp is made up of nerve, vascular, and connective tissue. Infection can enter the pulp through cracks in the enamel or other tooth damage, or it can enter through the tooth roots. If the pulp is infected, the tooth will need to be extracted or treated with root canal therapy. Otherwise, the infection within the tooth can spread to adjacent teeth, into the jaw or facial bones, or into the sinuses, where it can move into the brain.
A root canal procedure involves removing all the infected tissue through a small hole in the tooth. The interior is then sterilized and filled with a sterile resin that helps keep the tooth intact. To further strengthen the treated tooth, it is treated with a dental crown.
Recovering from a Root Canal
After a root canal procedure, you should take some precautions to help you remain comfortable during your recovery. If you are experiencing swelling or discomfort, you can take over-the-counter medications. Cold packs can also help reduce swelling. Our dentist will probably provide antibiotics, which you should take according to the provided instructions. This will help prevent a recurrence of the infection. You will also need to avoid chewing with the treated tooth until the final crown has been placed.
In most cases, no extensive aftercare will be necessary. However, if you experience any unusual symptoms you should see your dentist as soon as possible. Symptoms that could indicate a problem include:
- Extreme discomfort
- Extreme sensitivity
These could indicate an infection, and could require additional treatment, including another root canal procedure. Our specialist can help you with your root canal treatment, so call us today!