Root Canal Treatment
Root canal inflammation or infection is a serious condition that occurs when bacteria enter the area deep inside the tooth called the pulp chamber. This part of the tooth contains blood vessels, nerves, and tissue that keep the tooth healthy and alive. When it gets infected or inflamed, it can cause an excruciating toothache, and the only way to relieve the pain and save the tooth is with root canal treatment.
Signs You Might Need Root Canal Treatment
There are several symptoms of an infected or inflamed tooth:
- Excruciating toothache
- Swollen or inflamed gums
- Pain when eating and chewing
- Lingering sensitivity to hot and cold
- Radiating pain in the jaw or face
- Tooth darkening or discoloration
- A “pimple” or bump on the gums
- A bad odor or taste in the mouth
If you notice any of these signs, please call us as soon as possible. Even if the pain goes away, the cause is not resolved, and it will return with a vengeance. The sooner you seek treatment, the faster you’ll get out of pain, and you will also minimize the risk of the infection spreading to other parts of the body.
What Root Canal Treatment Involves
Root canal treatment is thought by many to be a painful procedure, but that’s not the case! The fact is that it's the infection that causes such intense pain and root canal treatment is the only procedure that relieves it and saves the tooth from extraction.
A Numb Tooth Means No Pain!
Once your dentist determines that your tooth is infected, they will recommend root canal treatment. The first step is to use a strong local anesthetic to numb the tooth and ensure that you won’t feel any pain. We also offer nitrous oxide or laughing gas to help you relax throughout your appointment.
Removing Infected Pulp
While the tooth is numb, your dentist accesses the inside of the tooth and carefully and methodically removes the infected or inflamed pulp. They then fill the hollow area to prevent reinfection and seal the tooth. The final step is to place a temporary filling to protect the tooth as it heals.
It’s common to experience some soreness for a day or two after root canal treatment. However, taking over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen should be sufficient to provide relief.
Placing Your Final Crown or Tooth Filling
About two weeks after root canal treatment, you’ll return to our Woodbury, MN, dental office for a follow-up appointment. At this time, your dentist will check the tooth and either place a final filling or recommend a dental crown, depending on the tooth's location.
Since its supporting structures are intact, a tooth with a root canal can last a lifetime when cared for properly. Brush twice a day, floss once, and visit our dental hygienist every six months for professional teeth cleanings.
Do You Think You Need Root Canal Treatment?
If you have severe tooth pain or other symptoms of a root canal infection, please call our Woodbury, MN, dental office, and we’ll arrange to see you the same day to provide relief.