A root canal treatment removes diseased tooth pulp from an infected tooth. Root canals are a conservative alternative to extracting a severely decayed tooth and help maintain the natural function and stability of your smile. In most cases, Dr. Adams can perform a root canal in the comfort of our dental office using a local anesthetic. Root canal treatment is a general dentistry service that Dr. Adams offers.
When a cavity develops, it wears away the protective enamel layer on the tooth. Once compromised, disease-causing bacteria can enter the tooth’s inner pulp. The pulp can become inflamed and cause sudden or sharp tooth pain.
The root canal procedure is designed to remove the damaged tissue and restore the stability of the tooth. Root canal treatment can relieve painful symptoms from infection and decay, alleviating the need for extraction and the complexity of tooth replacement.
What are the Signs I Need a Root Canal?
You will need a root canal if you have inflamed and irritated dental pulp. There are several common signs to look out for at home that may mean you need a root canal:
- Sharp, sudden tooth pain
- Tooth discoloration
- Gum swelling and tenderness
- Pimple-like gum sores
Please get in touch with our office if you notice any of these symptoms. We will thoroughly examine your smile and take dental X-rays to determine which teeth require care.
Root Canal Treatment in Rogers, AR: What to Expect
The root canal procedure is a routine dental treatment that has benefited from advanced techniques and materials for less discomfort. Dr. Adams may discuss sedation options before treating patients with dental anxiety.
Dr. Adams will numb the area with a local anesthetic to begin root canal treatment. The anesthetic ensures that patients do not feel any pain during treatment. Dr. Adams makes a small hole in the back of the tooth. She then inserts a special instrument called an endodontic file through the hole. Dr. Adams removes all diseased or damaged tissue from the inside of the tooth and thoroughly cleans the area.
Next, she inject a material called gutta-percha into the cleared-out tooth structure. Gutta-percha helps to stabilize the tooth and seals out bacteria.
Most patients will receive a dental crown after their root canal treatment. A dental crown is a highly durable dental restoration custom-designed to match your smile. The dental crown fully covers the treated tooth like a cap and is permanently bonded to the tooth for long-term support.
We often recommend a dental crown following a root canal to cover and protect worn or weakened teeth. Removing the decayed tooth structure can affect the strength of the tooth.
Root Canal Aftercare
Following your root canal treatment, caring for your treated tooth will ensure you heal quickly and feel more comfortable during the healing process.
Directly after your root canal, you must avoid:
- Consuming hot and cold foods and drinks
- Using a straw
- Spitting or sucking
- Eating crunchy or hard foods
Alternatively, eating a soft diet, resting, and taking pain medications will help you heal following your root canal.
Soft foods like pasta, mashed potatoes, and eggs will combat pain and sensitivity. We will also recommend using ice packs on your cheek to reduce swelling. You may experience swelling 24 to 72 hours following treatment.
You may need to clean your mouth with a saltwater rinse the same day as your procedure. However, you can begin to brush and floss again after the anesthetic wears off. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a non-abrasive toothpaste. Avoid using a water flosser because it can irritate your treated tooth or teeth.
Additionally, you can return to normal activities, including work or school, 24 hours after your root canal. Ensure your filling has hardened and the anesthetic has worn off before exercising.
Root Canal FAQs
Do you want to learn more about root canal treatment? Explore answers to commonly asked questions about root canals:
How painful is a root canal?
While a root canal procedure may scare some people, it is actually about as painful or uncomfortable as a tooth filling. In fact, most of the pain associated with this procedure is with the infection itself. Root canal therapy will provide you with relief once the infection has been removed and you have healed fully.
How long will a root canal take?
A root canal procedure on one tooth should take about 30 – 60 minutes. If you have a more complicated case, it may take longer. It will also depend on which tooth is being treated.
Why do I need a dental crown after a root canal?
After your root canal, your tooth no longer has the adequate protection it should have. The tooth’s surface is more likely to suffer from decay and infection. A dental crown will help protect the tooth, avoiding these problems.
What should I avoid before a root canal?
Before your root canal, avoid alcohol and tobacco. These substances can affect any medications we can provide you during your treatment, including anti-anxiety medications. Don’t come to your appointment on an empty stomach. We recommend eating before your root canal.
How long does it take to recover from a root canal?
It will often take less than a week to heal from a root canal. You will feel more comfortable as you heal if you rest, take pain medication, and properly care for your smile.
Why do I feel throbbing in my tooth after a root canal?
You may feel your treated tooth throbbing due to inflammation and irritation from the root canal treatment. Taking pain medication and using a cold compress will lessen this pain. If you continue to feel pain days after your root canal, please get in touch with our office. We will find and treat the source of your pain.
Schedule a Comfortable Root Canal
Do you have severe tooth pain? Are you looking for a comfortable way to stop your toothaches? Call Dr. Adams for root canal treatment at (479) 323-3011. Feel free to schedule a dental appointment on our website.