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Oct24

2018

Root canal – answers to your top 5 questions!

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Have you been told you need a root canal? It’s okay!  There’s no reason to freak out because root canal therapy is not as scary as you might think.

In fact, root canal therapy often gets an undeserved bad wrap but in fact it may be your best defence to save your tooth.

We’re going to take away the mystery of this procedure. Read on to get the answers to the top 5 root canal questions we often get from our patients.

✔️ What is root canal therapy?

Root canal therapy is needed when a tooth becomes severely damaged by decay or injury.  This leads to an infection inside your tooth, which damages the pulp. The signs and symptoms that you may need a root canal include:

  • severe tooth pain (which might be caused by an abscess)
  • sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
  • swelling gums
  • an infected tooth gets dark.

The purpose of a root canal is to SAVE your natural tooth.

During the procedure, we will safely remove the infected pulp and clean out the damaged nerve tissue– and then we seal it to protect against future pain with a temporary filling to keep food and other contaminants out of the tooth until the next appointment.

At the second appointment, we will fill the interior of the tooth with a sealer paste and a filling is placed in the hole in the enamel.

After a root canal, the tooth is weaker.  To keep it from breaking, we will place a crown, or another restoration on the tooth to protect it.  A root canal and crown is usually 2-3 appointments and they are highly successful.

✔️ My tooth doesn’t hurt. Why do I need a root canal?

Just because you’re not experiencing pain doesn’t mean your tooth isn’t severely infected. A root canal could still be necessary to save your tooth and to keep your smile healthy.

It’s important to take care of the problem before it gets worse. The longer you delay treatment, the more opportunity there is for infection to infiltrate your bloodstream and harm your body.  And your oral health is directly connected to your overall wellness.

If not treated properly, you increase your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and some other nasties.

Sometimes a root canal may be needed because:

  • your tooth is cracked (sometime this crack is so fine you can’t see it or feel it)
  • your tooth is broken
  • you’ve had repeated dental procedures on the same tooth
  • you’ve had a severe tooth injury.

✔️ Is a root canal painful?

Hearing the words “root canal” may make you cringe because of the stigma attached to the procedure and the pain associated with it.   Well, here’s the thing, in 2018 that is simply not the case! 

Technology has advanced so much and these days you’ll hardly feel it. It feels much the same as getting a filling – and patients are often surprised at how little discomfort there is!

Our team at Taree Dental Care will make sure you’re comfortable the entire time. If you need an extra boost, we can always offer you some sedation, and you won’t feel a thing!

✔️ How will I feel after a root canal?

Your tooth may feel a little sensitive after the procedure, but you’ll finally be out of pain caused by the damaged tooth!  If you do experience any soreness or sensitivity, you can take over-the-counter pain relief like panadol.  Easy.

Your mouth will likely feel numb for 2-3 hours from the anesthetic but you can return to work immediately if you wish. You might feel you need to chew your meals on the other side of your mouth for a bit, at least until the anesthetic wears off, but that is about the extent of the inconvenience.

✔️ Are there any other alternatives?

The only alternative to root canal is extracting the tooth.

If you choose this option, there are other solutions to replace your infected tooth. A bridge or dental implant can be a good solution to restore the functionality and beauty of your smile.

So if you come to us in pain – and we suggest a root canal – don’t be afraid.  It really may be the best thing for you AND your tooth.

If you are suffering from any tooth pain give us a call on  (02) 6550 0960 to make an appointment.  There is no need for you to go on suffering with any sort of mouth discomfort at any time.  And lets get it fixed nice and early before it becomes a bigger issue!

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