Root Canal Procedures (Endodontics)
The root canal is made up of the inner passages of a tooth that connect the pulp to the roots.
A root canal procedure is a dental treatment in which infected tooth pulp material is removed from the interior of the tooth to prevent pain and preserve the tooth.
What are some signs that I may be in need of a root canal?
Dental Pain or Discomfort
If you are experiencing pain in your teeth then you can expect that your tooth is infected and you'll be in need of a root canal.
You may notice sharp pain while chewing or applying pressure to the tooth. You may also experience severe sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures.
Any dental pain should be examined by your dentist, make an appointment with your Oakville dental professional as soon as possible for a diagnosis.
Cyst or Bump on Your Gums
A dental cyst is a small bump that forms on your gums. This may also require a root canal procedure.
Dental cysts form around the roots of decayed or infected teeth and sometimes develop if the pulp of a tooth is infected.
Tooth Turning Grey or Black
A tooth with infected pulp may become dark in colour, or even black, due to internal damage. If you notice that one of your teeth has become darker than the others, it may indicate a problem with the inner pulp.
Should you expect a root canal to be painful?
A root canal procedure might sound scary, but with today’s technology, it’s typically not a whole lot more different than having a deep filling. There’s little to no pain because your dentist will use local anesthesia to numb your tooth and gums so you’re comfortable during the procedure.
Your mouth may feel sore or tender after the root canal. Your dentist may suggest that you take over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil).
Generally, pre-treatment pain can be high, but the pain tends to drop moderately within a day of treatment and then drop substantially to minimal levels within a week.
What are some ways to help prevent the need for a root canal?
Dental hygiene can go a long way in preventing the need for serious procedures such as root canals. Follow these tips to help keep your teeth healthy:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
- Floss between your teeth at least once a day.
- Use fluoride toothpaste or a fluoride rinse.
- See your dentist for checkups every 6 months.
- Have your teeth professionally cleaned by your dentist at least once a year.
- Limit the amount of sugary food and refined carbohydrates you eat. These foods have a tendency to stick to your teeth. If you eat sugary foods, try to rinse your mouth or brush your teeth shortly afterward.