Having pain in the tooth can be one of the worst feelings in the world. It can start as a dull pain but quickly progress to one of the worst pains you’ve ever felt. Typically when a toothache arises, it is due to an infection inside the tooth. When tooth decay is present, it opens up the possibility of bacteria getting into the pulp and root of the tooth, which can result in a painful toothache.
When a tooth is infected, your dentist will likely recommend you have a root canal. Root canal therapy is the best way to eliminate the bacteria and debris while removing the tooth nerve that is causing the discomfort. After a root canal is performed, you will no longer feel any pain in that tooth, as the nerve inside the tooth will no longer be present.
You may or may not have heard what happens during a root canal. If you have, you likely have the thought that the procedure is going to be somewhat painful, if not hurt more than the actual pain from the infected tooth. The good news is, having a root canal is relatively painless. Patients don’t feel anything when the dentist is performing the procedure, thanks to local anesthetics. For those that have severe dental anxiety, some offices will offer sedation dentistry to make patients more relaxed.
To start the root canal therapy, your dentist will completely numb the area in which he or she will be working. This will include several shots of anesthetic. The area will need to sit for a few minutes to ensure the medicine has had enough time to take effect. Once sufficiently numbed, your dentist will need to access the inside of the tooth to prepare for cleaning. For most people, the next part is the most frightening, but it isn’t as bad as some make it out to be. Your dentist will need to drill the cavity removing any decay and to gain access to the center of the tooth. This action isn’t painful, but it can feel like quite a bit of pressure and vibration from the drill.
Once your dentist has gained access to the inside of the tooth and the infected pulp, it will need to be cleaned out. Your dentist will flush the area. He will then remove the nerve and infected pulp. Once out, you won’t feel any pain from the tooth. After applying an antibiotic, the hole will need to be filled. The same material used for filling cavities and tooth bonding can be used. Depending on the size of the hole being filled, your dentist may or may not use a crown to seal off the area. Most dentists prefer using crowns with root canal therapy because it is additional protection for the tooth.
After the procedure is done, you shouldn’t feel much discomfort, as it will take an hour or so for the anesthesia to wear off. Your dentist may send you home with a prescription for pain relievers as well as an antibiotic. It’s essential to follow all after-care instructions. Your dentist should walk you through the healing process before the treatment. There won’t be too many limitations following a root canal, but you will want to avoid overly hot foods and drinks. The tooth itself won’t hurt any longer, but the gums are likely to be sore for a few days following the procedure.
For more information on general dentistry services, like root canal therapies visit dental office.