Pain Relieving Root Canals
Root canals have gotten a bad reputation, but they are truly pain relieving, smile protecting procedures. In many cases, patients’ toothaches are immediately relieved by root canal therapy, and this advanced restorative dentistry service allows your Sioux Falls dentist to save teeth that may otherwise be extracted. When we recommend root canal for a patient, what we’re really recommending is saving your smile.
Do I Need a Root Canal?
Root canal therapy is recommended for patients who have tooth decay or dental damage that has reached the interior layer of the tooth called the pulp. This soft dental layer houses the tooth’s nerve system, so when damaged tissue directly impacts the nerve - pain is the result. The only way to know for sure you need a root canal is to schedule a dental appointment. We usually discover root canal concerns during an emergency dentistry visit. Patients contact us complaining of severe toothache, sensitivity to changes in temperature, and/or infection in the gum line around a single tooth. Emergency dentistry patients who experience facial trauma that leads to chipped, cracked, or fractured teeth may also need a root canal.
Will a Root Canal be Painful?
On the contrary, most patients actually feel immediate relief from their toothache. The root canal procedure is quite comfortable. We use local anesthetic to completely numb the area we’ll be treating. We also offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oral conscious (pill) sedation for patients who experience anxiety at the dentist or who have difficulty staying numb.
How is Root Canal Therapy Completed?
Root canal therapy requires at least two treatment visits, but may take more depending on how much preparation and/or follow up is needed. On the day we begin treatment, the dentist starts by numbing the area around the tooth. Then, we drill a small access hole from the crown to the pulp. Dental files are used to extract the pulp and nerve tissue and debride (clean out) the inside of the tooth. Before we refill and seal the tooth, patients may need to complete a course of antibiotics to ensure all of the infection is removed and oral bacteria are minimized. Next, the tooth is refilled with a substance called gutta percha that is biologically similar to dental pulp. The dentist will seal the access hole. In most cases, patients are also fitted for a dental crown. This advanced restoration fits completely over the top of the root canal treated tooth protecting and strengthening the remaining dental structure.
What Should I Expect Following my Root Canal?
After your root canal procedure, you may experience some minor aches or discomfort. Patients report this mild pain is significantly better than the severe toothache and dental sensitivity that preceded their root canal procedures. If this pain is not relieved by using over the counter pain relievers and icing the area at twenty minute intervals (20 on and 20 off), there may be something wrong. Give the Family Dentistry of Sioux Falls team a call. We’ll schedule a follow up appointment to examine the treated tooth for signs of root canal failure. You may also be instructed to complete a course of antibiotics following treatment to prevent infection.