A root canal is a procedure performed to treat an infection deep within a tooth. The tooth may be infected from decay or injury and this can lead to pain when chewing or biting down. During a root canal, the infected nerve of the tooth is removed, and the remaining healthy tooth structure is cleaned and sealed to prevent further infection. After your root canal, your tooth will need to be restored with a crown to protect the damaged tooth and restore it to full function.
When Would a Root Canal Be Needed?
A root canal is often performed when decay has reached a tooth’s nerve, causing an infection or abscessed tooth. Tooth pain may be constant, and the pain may also increase when chewing or biting down on the tooth. This is a sign that the nerve is damaged and the infection is reaching it. Additionally, the tooth may become visibly discolored as the pulp becomes infected. The dentist may recommend a root canal if the tooth cannot be saved with fillings or other treatments. However, some teeth will require a dental crown after the dentist removes the damaged portion from the tooth.
What Happens During a Root Canal Procedure?
A root canal treatment will eliminate pain and save your tooth from extraction. Our dentist will numb the area, then use a small tool to clean out the infected dental pulp. We will also reshape the root canals of the tooth. The tooth is then sealed to prevent further damage or infection. Finally, any damaged areas will be repaired with a filling or dental crown. The entire procedure will be completed in one appointment, and your restored tooth will look natural and beautiful.
Will I Need a Dental Crown Following a Root Canal?
This depends on the condition of the tooth. If the decay or infection is severe enough to warrant the root canal in the first place, then there’s probably a lot of damage that needs to be addressed before the tooth can be restored with a crown. If, however, the tooth has suffered from only minor damage or decay, then it may be able to support a crown with no trouble at all. If a dental crown is recommended following a root canal, it can usually be placed directly over the treated tooth by our dentist during your appointment.
What Happens After My Root Canal Procedure?
Most of the time, there is no discomfort immediately following a root canal treatment because the anesthesia will prevent pain. However, soreness may set in a few hours later. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help ease any discomfort. Some people experience minor sensitivity in their teeth after the procedure and should avoid hot or cold foods or drinks for the first few days. Our dentist can provide a mouthguard to wear over the tooth to minimize the risk of damaging it while it heals.
After a root canal treatment, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene habits at home and schedule regular cleanings and exams with your dentist. This will help protect your teeth and prevent future problems from occurring.
To find out more about the dental services offered at Atwood Family Dentistry, call (208) 528-6684 or schedule a consultation online. You can also visit us at 1759 W Broadway, Idaho Falls, ID 83402.