What is a Root Canal?
Root canal therapy, otherwise known as endodontics, is the removal of the nerve or pulp, of the tooth when it is stressed or diseased.
Why are Root Canals Necessary?
- Tooth Decay: When decay begins, it penetrates the outer layer of the enamel and creates a cavity. When decay continues, it will move its way toward the nerve.
- Infections: Infections within a tooth can cause an abscess that can be painful, tender, and cause swelling.
- Trauma: A blow to the mouth or a cracked tooth may injure the nerve.
- Large Fillings: Long standing deep fillings can cause stress to the nerve of the tooth.
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What Should I Expect After Root Canal Therapy?
It is very important that you know what you may do and how you may feel after a root canal is completed in order to ensure a successful outcome for your treatment.
The sensations you will experience after treatment are mediated by several factors. If there was pain and discomfort experienced before treatment, there will be a degree of pain that will persist for a couple of days after the procedure. The pain may radiate to other areas in the jaw and neck. It is not unusual during the healing phase to feel sensations not related to the area of the treated tooth or even to feel pain where there was none present prior to treatment.
Often, there is minimal discomfort for a few days after treatment; however, an increase in the intensity of discomfort may occur two to three days later and persists for a period of two or three days after that. These sensations are considered normal: a function on how the body’s immune response protects it from foreign materials and the inflammation produced by the mechanics of the root canal procedure. There may be a little swelling or soreness due to the increase in blood volume going to the area to assist in the healing process.
Take the medications as indicated by your dentist, if prescribed. One must remember that pain relievers only work on the perception of pain, and not on the source. Thus, they should be taken in moderation. Antibiotics must be taken exactly as prescribed, otherwise they will be ineffective.
Heavy chewing should be avoided on the treated tooth for at least a week. It is strongly recommended that the permanent filling be done within two to three weeks after completion of the root canal. All temporary fillings may leak or break down, and their replacement with a more permanent, stronger filling becomes an important part of the success of the root canal treatment.
If you have any questions or concerns with regards to your treatment, please contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org