Root Canal Therapy – A Way We Can Save Your Tooth
Have you or a loved one ever received root canal therapy? If you haven’t, you may have a bad impression of this common dental treatment. A root canal is a tooth-saving procedure. Although many patients may be nervous to learn they need this treatment, we want to emphasize that due to the advancements in treatment and technology, patients compare the entire process to a more involved filling.
What is a Root Canal?
If decay in the tooth, such as a cavity, is not treated in a timely fashion, it will continue to grow and make its way into the tooth until it reaches the pulp. Dental decay does not heal on its own and will continue to worsen until treatment is received, or you experience a dental emergency and treatment becomes mandatory. If a root canal is not received when needed, the next step is a tooth extraction.
A root canal is the process of removing the infected pulp, cleaning and disinfecting the root, and finally sealing the tooth back up again. There are many signs that might indicate the decay is too severe, and you may need a root canal:
- Severe discomfort while chewing
- Chipped or cracked tooth
- Swollen or tender gums
- Lingering teeth sensitivity to cold and hot
- Discomfort in teeth that have previous fillings or a dental crown
Care Following a Root Canal
The recovery for a root canal is similar to that of a dental filling. It is important not to eat until the numbness has dissipated. If you eat while numb, you may damage the inside of your mouth. Many patients who receive a root canal will also need a dental crown, as the tooth structure may be damaged as well. We may recommend not eating on the side where you received treatment for a day or so. A soft diet may also help if you are uncomfortable.
Please don’t postpone treatment for a tooth that is causing you discomfort. If an infected tooth is left untreated, it will not heal on its own and will cause more damage to your jaw and body over time. If you have not visited our office located in Knoxville, TN recently, or you are feeling tooth discomfort, please call us today to schedule your next appointment. We look forward to seeing you soon!