Your Root Canal and the Recovery Process

Your Root Canal and the Recovery Process

by Natalie (SU)

The most important thing to remember about your upcoming root canal is that the procedure actually relieves pain. Even the root canal itself is not as painful or difficult as you may think. Here’s what to expect from your root canal and the recovery period immediately afterward.

The Root Canal

A root canal is a dental procedure that is necessary to save your tooth if it is very damaged or the pulp inside the tooth is infected. The enamel and dentin that make up the hard material of your tooth protect the pulp, which is soft. The nerve of the tooth and blood vessels are found in the pulp.

If there is deep tooth decay, or a chipped, cracked or broken crown, the pulp can become inflamed or infected with bacteria. Left untreated, an infected tooth may cause tooth pain, can lead to an abscess and ultimately loss of the tooth.

Root canal therapy begins with the removal of the inflamed pulp inside the tooth. A dentist or endodontist will drill a hole into the tooth and clean out the pulp with tiny tools called files. The hole is flushed out, and antibiotics may be inserted into the holes in your tooth to clean out any infection. The disinfected space is then filled and sealed.

Root Canal Recovery: What to Expect

Now that you’ve had a root canal, the worst is over. The procedure has removed the root and nerves of the problem tooth, meaning there is nothing in the tooth left to cause you pain. However, there are some things to note as you’re recovering from a root canal.

You may remain numb in the area of the root canal for some time after the procedure. As the anesthetic the dentist used during the procedure wears off, you should be able to resume regular eating or drinking. In most cases, patients are advised to refrain from doing so immediately after a procedure because the temporary numbness might cause them to accidentally bite or burn the inside of their mouths.

You may experience some minor pain or sensitivity in the area after a root canal, but it should decrease over the next 24-48 hours.

What’s Not Normal

Some signs or symptoms that you may need to return to the dentist’s office include:

·        Swelling, inflammation, or pain that doesn’t recede after the procedure may indicate a canal that was missed during the root canal. The root canal system is complex, but proper imaging before and after the root canal can help avoid this situation.

·        A loose-fitting crown. Teeth that undergo root canals are typically more brittle than their counterparts, and usually require a crown to protect them from chipping or breaking. Sometimes the crown placed over a tooth with a root canal may come loose and will need to be resealed.

If you are in the Minneapolis or St. Paul area and need a root canal, call the office of Dr. Steven Hagerman at (651) 646-2392 for an appointment today. Dr. Hagerman is experienced in all aspects of dentistry, and can help maintain and restore your teeth for a beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime.