What are Root Canals?
Root canals are common dental procedures that serve to treat an infected tooth. During a root canal procedure, your dentist will repair the infected pulp and seal it to prevent any further damage. This will help save teeth from enduring long-term damage or the loss of teeth.
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Do I need a root canal?
Factors that can lead to an infected tooth and the need for a root canal can vary, and patients should be aware of bad habits that may lead to infection of a tooth’s pulp. A few common causes of infected root canals are:
Damage from chipped or cracked teeth
Tooth decay or cavities
Previous dental procedures
Failure to brush and floss daily
Certain health conditions like diabetes
Signs of an Infected Tooth
There are multiple signs and symptoms that you might be suffering from an infected root canal. Patients should be aware of symptoms that may be due to an infected root canal, as it could significantly impact your oral health. Common signs and symptoms of infected root canals are:
Swollen or bleeding gums
The Root Canal Procedure
If you are undergoing the process of repairing an infected root canal, be sure to discuss with your dentist the precautions and steps you need to take before, during, and after the treatment.
What should I do before a root canal?
If your dentist thinks you may need root canal surgery, they may do an x-ray on specific teeth in order to determine the severity of your infected tooth.
You may choose to take ibuprofen before the procedure to help prevent swelling and inflammation and to treat pain. Before your treatment begins, your dentist will use local anesthesia to numb the surrounding areas and put you at ease. They may also use a tool to help keep the area dry.
What happens during a root canal?
To begin surgery, your dentist will use a file in order to clear the canals into the pulp chamber. Once the canals are cleared, the dentist is able to clean the tooth and disinfect the pulp. With clean and disinfected pulp and canals, your dentist will seal the tooth and possibly apply a crown to prevent further infection.
How long does a root canal take?
Although standard root canal procedures take about 90 minutes, it truly depends on each individual’s situation. Some patients can complete the procedure in one sitting, while others may have to schedule multiple appointments.
Natural Pain Relievers for Root Canal Procedure
Post operation recovery is an extremely important part of the root canal process. This is when patients must be aware of the precautions they need to take in order to ensure a successful recovery from their root canal procedure. Because the area around the treated area may be sore, many dentists recommend over-the-counter medication. However, there are a few more tips and tricks that may help the recovery process a little easier, including:
Rinse mouth with salt water
Avoid using treated tooth to chew
Consume plenty of fluids
Apply ice to prevent swelling
Continue regular oral hygiene routine
More on root canal surgery at Memphis Center for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry →
How to Prevent Infected Root Canals
Whether patients have already undergone a root canal procedure or not, there are steps to take in order to prevent future root canals from becoming an issue. A few ways to help prevent infected root canals are:
Root Canal Treatment in Memphis
The team at the Memphis Center for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry works to provide our patients with the best treatment possible. We perform root canal procedures regularly and want our patients to feel comfortable and safe when visiting us.
If you are experiencing signs or symptoms of an infected root canal, do not wait to set up an appointment. Contact us today to schedule a visit to our office and find a solution to your dental problem.
This article was reviewed by Dr. Miles Moore of Memphis Center for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Moore is a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists who has received extensive training in implant dentistry. He is a member of multiple dental organizations, including the American Dental Association, the American Academy of General Dentistry, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the Memphis Dental Society.
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