A root canal is an important treatment for many dental problems. Though many people are filled with dread when they hear those two words, root canals are often necessary to ensure that you have a healthy mouth.
Root canals are performed for many reasons. Often dentists try to avoid root canals by filling in teeth. However, there are times when a filling won’t work, and a root canal is necessary to save a tooth. Root canals are also used when teeth are infected, especially when the infection is deep. If you suffer trauma to your mouth, you may need to have a root canal completed to help save a tooth.
If you decide against having a root canal completed, your tooth decay will just continue to get worse until you lose the tooth. If your tooth is infected, the infection will continue to get worse. It may travel deep into your gums and become very painful. Your mouth may hurt constantly from the infection.
During a root canal, the goal is to alleviate pain and infection so that we can save your tooth. We remove the dead nerve from your tooth. Then, we seal off the remaining nerve, stopping the infection and pain. Our goal is to keep your tooth from becoming infected again. We also want to prevent an abscess from forming, which can become very painful.
After your root canal, your mouth will be numb, so you should avoid eating and drinking until your mouth feels normal again. You should also continue to brush and floss your teeth as soon as your mouth is not numb anymore.
You may also notice some tenderness for a few days. Your jaw may even be sore. You can use some over-the-counter medications if needed for pain. It is also common for your tooth to feel strange for a few days until you adjust to it. If the pain continues for several days, you should talk to your dentist about scheduling an appointment for a recheck.