It is estimated that around 24 million teeth are saved each year in the United States through root canals. It is the only way to save a tooth when the pulp, which is the part of the tooth that contains the blood vessels, soft tissues, and nerves is infected or damaged. Root canal therapy has a high success rate of treating a diseased pulp while preserving the tooth. An endodontist near you will root for a root canal rather than having the infected tooth extracted. One reason for this is that nothing beats having your natural teeth and the other is that you get to avoid additional treatments to replace the extracted tooth or having to suffer the consequences of having a missing tooth.
The term “root canal’’ is used to describe the natural cavity that is within the center of a tooth and contains the nerves, blood vessels, and soft tissues. In a root canal treatment, the objective is to clear out the root canal of all infected pulp, clean the area and then seal it.
Once the tooth’s pulp is damaged, it starts to break down, creating room for bacteria to thrive. The bacteria and decaying matter lead to an infection or a pus-filled pocket at the end of the tooth’s root known as an abscess. If this infection is left untreated, the affected area may begin to swell and this might extend to the neck, face, or head. Bone loss may also occur around the tip of the root.
Once a tooth erupts, only the nerves continue to be of use. Their function is to sense temperature difference, hot or cold. This makes it possible to maintain the function of a tooth even after it is removed. You will however lose sensitivity in the treated tooth.
Usually, the symptoms indicating that you need a root canal are usually more painful than the treatment procedure itself. Signs such as swelling, sensitivity, and extreme pain when you bite down on the affected are all unpleasant. This is perhaps why most patients dread at the thought of a dentist touching the tooth, leave alone drilling it to access the pulp.
Nonetheless, advancements in dentistry have made it possible for patients to get tooth abscess treatment with little discomfort. Your dentist in Columbia, MO might first prescribe some antibiotics for 7 to 10 days in case you have an abscess. The procedure itself will be performed under local anesthesia and all that you might feel like a little pressure as the dentist works on you. At All American Dental, patients report to feeling little to no pain during the procedure.
The standard root canal treatment relies on special types of files and treatment fluids to clean the root canal, which is to an extent invasive. However, for a less invasive procedure, can opt for GentleWave treatments. Root canal treatment through this method requires minimal filing. It instead heavily relies on fluid dynamics and broad-spectrum acoustic energy to reach into the root canal spaces and clean and disinfect it. It is also much faster and more comfortable.
Before going home, your dentist will advise you on how to care for the tooth to ensure a speedy recovery. You will notice that the area feels tender and sensitive for the next few days after the treatment. The pain and discomfort you feel are not from the tooth but from the surrounding tissues that may have been bruised during the procedure. You will be given some painkillers as well as antibiotics and within a week you should be fine.
It is also important to note that after a root canal you need to avoid any hard or crunchy foods. You will still have to brush and floss daily but while being careful and avoiding the treated area. Also, avoid any high-impact activities such as exercising. Make sure to go for all scheduled dental checkups and most importantly let your doctor know if you exhibit any worrying symptoms like persisting pain or tenderness.
So, the bottom line is that is properly done, a root canal actually saves you from pain with you having just to experience some minor discomforts compared to living with an infection or abscess.