What Is Root Canal Therapy?
Endodontic therapy, also widely known as root canal therapy, is a safe dental treatment wherein the soft center of the tooth, the pulp, is removed due to infection, inflammation, or injuries. This procedure is effective in relieving your tooth of pain, trauma, and further decay. A root canal treatment can be done as either a single-day or multiple-day procedure, depending on the severity of the damage to the pulp.
PULPITIS (root canal therapy)
What Are the Symptoms of Root Canal Therapy?
While common symptoms can be similar to a variety of dental issues, the only way to know if you need to undergo root canal treatment is through the advice of your dentist. Here are some symptoms that are related to needing a root canal procedure:
- Lasting toothaches are one of the most common symptoms that your tooth’s pulp might be severely infected. If you’re feeling prolonged discomfort and pain in the bone of your tooth or in your jaw, especially when taking a bite or chewing, it could mean that you’re due for treatment.
- Swollen gums are also telltale signs that may lead you to root canal therapy. In addition to this, gum boils, or pimples on your gums may appear, leaving a displeasing aftertaste and discomfort in your mouth. The pimple may also leak pus due to the infection.
- Hypersensitivity to touch and changing temperatures are also determining factors in diagnosing the need for root canal therapy. If your tooth feels a sharp pain when being exposed to hot or cold surfaces, or even just getting touched, it could be a sign of tooth decay or nerve damage.
- Discoloration of the teeth is another sign of pulp infection. Darkening of your teeth can also be caused by root damage, trauma, among others, which can be treated by root canal.
- A loose tooth can also be a sign of the need for root canal treatment, as it indicates several dental complications related to the issue, such as further infection and nerve death.
What Causes the Need for Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is performed when a patient’s dental pulp, the soft tissue inside the tooth, suffers from infection, inflammation, or trauma. During the treatment, the infected pulp is removed from the tooth in order to prevent further decay and damage. A damaged pulp can be caused by either recurrent procedures on the tooth, neglected cavities resulting in deep decay, tooth injury, or a chip or crack in the tooth.
How Can You Treat Root Canal Discomfort at Home?
After the root canal treatment, you can expect to experience swelling and discomfort for a period of time, which can last for a day or two. What should be done after root canal therapy in case you feel the side effects post-treatment? Here are some quick remedies that you can try:
- Refrain from pressuring your teeth by eating on the treated side of your mouth. Give it time to relax and for the swelling to wear down so as not to cause further damage to the tooth and its surrounding area.
- Do your best to eat soft, bland food, especially for the first few days after the procedure. This will help to ease your tooth as you slowly accustom it to returning to its normal function.
- Apply a cold compress to the treated area to help alleviate the swelling. You can make your own cold compress with a bag of ice and a cloth, or a washcloth soaked in iced water, among other things. Place it on your cheek with the treated area for a few minutes, let it rest, and repeat until you feel better.
- Consult with your dentist if the discomfort persists. Your dentist will know the right medication to give you in situations like this.
How Much Does a Root Canal Therapy Cost?
While there is a suggested dental fee guide provided by the Ontario Dental Association, the cost for root canal therapy will vary based on a variety of factors like the number of teeth that need the procedure, the complexity of the treatment, equipment and materials used, the dentist’s qualifications, and insurance, among others. You can fill out this form to inquire about the cost, and we’ll gladly accommodate your request.
How Can You Prevent Root Canals?
You can prevent your tooth from getting root canal therapy by practicing proper dental hygiene. Regular flossing, brushing of the teeth, and being aware of your diet (such as eating too much hard food, sugary foods, and drinks) can help prevent tooth decay, therefore lessening the chances of the need to undergo root canal treatment. Regular consultation with your dentist also helps tremendously in preventing dental damage.
What Are the Complications When Getting Root Canal Therapy?
While root canal therapy is done by dental experts, there are always unprecedented risks that could happen in each procedure. Some of these include bacterial recontamination of the inner tooth, the formation of an abscess due to reinfection, hidden cracks in the tooth, or tooth loss. In some cases, retreatment is necessary to properly clean and refill the canal.
What Are the Alternative Treatments to Root Canal Therapy?
The only alternative to root canal therapy is tooth extraction, wherein your tooth will be replaced by a partial denture, an implant, or a bridge, to help your adjacent teeth stay in line, as well as maintain chewing and biting functionalities.
When Is the Best Time to See a Dentist for Root Canal Therapy?
Since a crown can remain intact despite an infected pulp, it can be difficult to determine if a root canal treatment is necessary. If you’re experiencing a consistent and persistent toothache, the best thing to do is to go see a dentist as early as possible to get an accurate diagnosis and prevent further dental damage.
1. Does root canal therapy hurt?
Like with other dental procedures, you may experience discomfort after the treatment, which can be relieved with over-the-counter medicine or medication prescribed by your dentist. During the treatment, you will be provided with a local anesthetic to make you feel comfortable throughout the process.
The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) and the Canadian Academy of Endodontics (CAE) are aware of the misconceptions spreading about root canal procedures, so it’s advisable to consult with your dentist and/or endodontist about the procedure to increase confidence and awareness about the importance of this procedure.
2. Who is qualified to perform root canal therapy?
General dentists are trained and qualified to perform the said procedure, but in some cases, especially for more complex situations, root canal therapy is performed by an endodontist. An endodontist is someone who specializes in dental procedures inside the tooth.
3. Does a root canal cause cancer?
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, there is no evidence stating that root canals cause cancer.
4. Can I eat or brush my teeth after the root canal procedure?
Common knowledge dictates that soft foods are the best options to eat after the treatment. You are free to brush and floss your teeth after the treatment unless otherwise advised by your dentist. It’s still best to discuss and consult on these matters with your dentist after the procedure.
5. Can I be put to sleep during the root canal procedure?
Most of the time, your dentist and/or endodontist will prefer to use a local anesthetic as the numbing agent for the treatment. However, you can ask your dentist if such an option is available in their policies.
6. What is a dental post?
A dental post is added to an existing tooth that is still in place but needs to be reinforced. Dentists use a dental post to help stabilize and secure a tooth that has undergone root canal treatment.
7. What is gutta percha?
Gutta-percha is a material used to fill a tooth after a root canal procedure.
DON’T LIVE IN PAIN ANYMORE
Root canal therapy involves an intricate process and must be done by experts and professionals in the field of dentistry. If you’re in need of dependable dental services in North York, Ontario, choose Dynasty Tower Dental! We assure you that you’re in the best hands with our team of dental experts and proficient staff, sharing years of experience and expertise. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions!