Most people have heard at least one bad story about a painful or bad experience with a root canal treatment.
If you have a damaged or infected tooth that needs to be treated, relax. At Friendly Dentistry of Greensboro, when our patients need this procedure, they have a positive, pain-free experience. Sounds hard to believe? We’ll let our patients speak for us.
“My root canal was completed with no discomfort or pain after the procedure. Your entire staff is wonderful.” – Donna H.
“The whole team is intelligent and wonderful. They treated me like family. I had a root canal with no pain even after the meds wore off. Wonderful.” – Ray W.
Why Is Root Canal Treatment Necessary?
When you have a prolonged toothache, it’s usually a sign that the tooth is infected which can lead to tooth decay. Decay, trauma, or gum disease can cause an infection. Your body reacts as it normally does to fight an infection. White blood cells and antibodies are sent to attack the infection, but there is not enough room in your tooth for them. The swelling and pressure inside cause the tooth pulp—which contains living tissue, blood vessels, and nerves—to swell, choke, and die. The infection travels into the root canals of the tooth, reaches the bone at the tip of the roots, and an abscess forms. A root canal treatment is needed to remove the infection and save the tooth.
If the infection is not treated, it can spread to other teeth, into your jawbone, and in severe cases, into your bloodstream. It can become life threatening.
What’s the Root Canal Process?
Let’s start by reassuring you that your root canal treatment will be comfortable and pain free. If you suffer from dental anxiety, let us know. You can be given mild anti-anxiety medication to help you relax.
- Local anesthetic will be used to numb the affected area.
- The infected tooth will be isolated, and the surrounding teeth will be protected using a dental dam. The dam is a thin sheet of rubber or vinyl.
- A small opening will be made in your tooth to access the pulp and root canals.
- We will clean out the dead pulp tissue and roots, into the very tips of the roots. It won’t be painful because the area will be numb. Also, when the pulp and its nerves are removed, you can’t feel pain anyway.
- The canals will be disinfected and washed clean to remove any debris.
- A dental filler material will be used to fill the canal space and keep bacteria out.
- We will seal the access hole in the tooth and remove the dental dam.
- You may be given an antibiotic to further treat the infection and ensure it is eliminated.
- We’ll ensure that your discomfort after the procedure is very minimal. Some patients don’t feel any discomfort at all.
Don’t Delay Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment should not be delayed. If you think you have a tooth infection, schedule an appointment right away. Some of the symptoms of an infected tooth are listed below.
- Persistent toothache
- Swollen gums or drainage around a tooth
- Pain when chewing
- Unusual and prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold
We will thoroughly examine your tooth and gums. An x-ray may be required. You will receive an accurate diagnosis, along with your treatment options. If you need a root canal treatment, we’ll make your experience with us a pleasant one.
- Wait until the numbness wears off before you eat. It will help you avoid biting your tongue or cheeks.
- When you eat, don’t use the treated tooth to chew unless it has been restored with a dental crown. We’ll let you know when it’s okay to use bite down on the tooth.
- Maintain good oral hygiene. Brush and floss your other teeth daily.
- If there is a temporary filling on the treated tooth, it may wear off a bit. If you think it has completely come out, call us and we can refill it.
- It is unlikely that you will experience severe symptoms, but call us right away if:
- your bite (the way your teeth fit together when you chew) feels uneven;
- you notice a lot of swelling inside or outside your mouth;
- you have an allergic reaction to the pain medication;
- the symptoms you felt before the root canal treatment return.
As the affected area heals, you may feel some tenderness for a few days. You should not experience severe pain or pressure at all. If you do, contact us right away, and we’ll ask you to come in to have your tooth examined.
Your follow-up appointments are important to ensure the tooth is healing properly. After your tooth heals, don’t neglect the final restoration. Properly restoring it—usually with a dental crown—protects the weakened tooth from damage and future infection. Although the tooth was infected, if it is properly restored, it can last as long as your healthy teeth. We provide natural-looking dental crowns that match the color and characteristics of your own teeth.