Root canal therapy is the treatment used to repair a severely decayed and infected tooth. This procedure involves the removal of diseased pulp and filling the cavity with a dental composite. However, most people have an assumption that the treatment is painful. Contrary to this, root canals in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY minimize pain caused by the infected or diseased pulp and helps in treating your tooth instead of extracting. Symptoms such as severe toothache, prolonged tooth sensitivity, and swelling in your gums are signs you need root canal treatment.
How do you prepare for root canal treatment?
It is best to prepare before heading to your dentist to make sure both the treatment process and recovery are comfortable. You may observe the following before treatment.
- Consult with your doctor and get to learn what to expect during treatment. If you have any concerns about the procedure, here is when you may ask all your questions.
- Avoid taking alcohol and tobacco for the last 24 hours before the procedure, as local anesthesia used before treatment may react to these substances.
- Eat before treatment to make recovery more comfortable since after treatment, your mouth may feel numb, making it difficult to chew food.
- Your dentist may advise that you take a painkiller such as ibuprofen a few hours before the procedure to ease any swelling that may occur.
- Get enough sleep the night before treatment to facilitate a smooth recovery process.
What to expect during a root canal therapy
Preparing the area
The first step involves numbing the area using local anesthesia. Using a dental dam, your dentist will cover the rest of the teeth and leave out the one that needs treatment. This appliance also keeps the mouth dry from saliva during the treatment.
Cleaning the canals
Next, your specialist will make small incisions on your tooth’s surface to access the root canals and pulp chamber. Using dental files, your dentist will remove the diseased pulp and disinfect the canals using an antibacterial and antiseptic solution. This is important to kill bacteria in the canals and prevent re-infection.
Shaping and filling the canals
Your dentists will shape the root canals using tiny instruments. After shaping, the canals are cleaned again to ensure no dirt and bacteria get trapped beneath the filling. Next, your specialist will use a rubber-like material called gutta-percha to fill the canals and seal the exterior using adhesive cement. Sealing may be done on the same day or a week after cleaning. If your tooth was severely damaged, your specialist places a post in the canal to support a crown. Your dentist will then seal the incisions made to access the root canals. Finally, your specialist may recommend dental restorations such as a crown for strength and stability – restoring the tooth to its full function.
What to expect after root canal therapy
It is normal to experience sensitivity because of tissue inflammation for the first few days after the procedure. Pain medications such as ibuprofen may help control the pain, and most patients resume regular activities the next day. You also need to observe oral hygiene practices such as brushing and flossing daily to maintain your dental health.
Root canal therapy is highly effective as it has an over 95% success rate. If you have severe tooth decay, reserve a session with your endodontist at Brooklyn City Dental for treatment to reduce symptoms such as intense pain and tooth sensitivity.