Root canal therapy is a dental procedure that removes an infection at the root of a tooth. A root canal has a reputation for being very painful, but the procedure itself isn’t bad, it’s the pain experienced before the treatment that can be severe. If you are experiencing a toothache of any magnitude, we highly recommend scheduling an appointment with Dr. McNeely to have it checked out. The last thing you want is an infection to develop into an extremely painful situation.
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Signs of a Root Canal Infection
It might be hard to differentiate the symptoms between a toothache and an infection, and we recommend a trip to your Charlotte dental office for a checkup if you feel any new pains. If you are experiencing pain in your tooth and think it may be infected, these symptoms usually precede the need for root canal therapy.
- Severe pain in the tooth when applying pressure
- Strong sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures long after the cold or heat has been removed.
- Darkening of the tooth
- Swollen and tender gums
- A pimple on the gums that won’t go away
Root Canal Process
The first step of root canal therapy is to ensure the patient is fully numbed and won’t feel any of the procedure. Next, Dr. McNeely will drill down through the top of the tooth through the enamel. He will then use a special endodontic drill that is made specifically for root canals to drill down to the root of the tooth and clear out the infected tissue. After the infected tissue has been removed, he will fill in the hole with a material called gutta percha that will resist any future possibilities of infection. If the structural integrity of the tooth remains intact, the tooth can be restored with a large filling, but if the infection was severe and the tooth has been weakened, it can be covered with a crown.
Root Canal Pain After the Procedure
The pain after root canal therapy differs from patient to patient. Some are able to go back to work the next day and others may need stronger pain medication to be comfortable. The body needs a couple of days to undergo the natural healing process, so feelings of tenderness are to be expected. The tenderness should subside after a couple of days, where you can look forward to a healthy smile!
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