Discovering that you need root canal therapy to remove infection and save your natural tooth is intimidating. Root canals are legendary for being painful, and you’ve probably heard the rumors of how excruciating they can be.
However, you shouldn’t let that scare you away. Your #1 professional general dentist in Uptown Charlotte has created this post to put your mind at ease by answering the top FAQs about root canal therapy.
Let’s get started.
What is a root canal?
A root canal (also referred to as endodontic treatment) is a procedure used to remove an inflamed or infected pulp in the center of a tooth. This dental procedure will help relieve pain, prevent reinfection, and save a natural tooth that might otherwise have to be completely removed.
Symptoms that show you need a root canal treatment
Sometimes the signs of a root canal are obvious. This includes:
- Heightened sensitivity of your tooth to hot and cold sensations
- Severe tooth pain
- Pimple-like bumps on your gum
- Deep decay or darkening of your tooth or gums (due to an untreated cavity)
- Swollen or tender gums
- An abscessed tooth
- A chipped or cracked tooth
Other times, you may not have any physical or outwardly visible symptoms and may be confused when your dentist tells you that you need a root canal during a dental visit. Your dentists are professionals and can find an infection in your teeth by either looking at an x-ray or examining your teeth.
Can I postpone the treatment?
You should never postpone or wait to get a root canal treatment done. The longer you delay your treatment, the higher your risk of experiencing worsening symptoms and pain or allowing the infection to spread to healthy teeth. The infection can also spread to other parts of your body and cause issues beyond your mouth.
How long do root canals take?
A root canal treatment typically takes between 30 – 90 minutes to complete. Treatments are often completed in one or two dental visits.
How are root canal procedures performed?
Here’s what to expect during this procedure:
- Before commencing treatment, Dr. Stacey Alston, your #1 Uptown Charlotte dental care provider will x-ray your teeth to identify the infected tooth or teeth and determine if this treatment is your best option.
- She will inject a local anesthetic to numb the affected tooth and the surrounding area.
- Then, she will place a protective dental dam around your tooth and then make a small opening in the top of your tooth to access the affected pulp. This pulp contains blood vessels, bacterial, and sensitized nerves.
- Dr. Alston will remove the pulp, including the infection and decay, then carefully clean and disinfect the space (canal) left behind.
- She will coat the area with antibiotics, fill it with a biocompatible material, and seal it to prevent reinfection.
- Your tooth’s appearance, functionality, and strength will be restored by placing a permanent or temporary crown on the tooth. Dr. Alston may also prescribe pain medications and oral antibiotics to manage the post root canal discomfort.
Are root canal procedures painful?
No, you won’t feel pain during a root canal procedure. That is because Dr. Alston will numb your tooth and the surrounding area before the treatment begins.
The truth is:
Painful root canals are a myth. The pain associated with root canal procedures comes from the infected tooth, not the treatment. In fact, removing the infection with this procedure will get you out of pain.
Moreover, the dental professionals at Genesis Family Dentistry do not leave anything to chance. We use local anesthesia during the treatment, so you shouldn’t feel anything. Rather, you should feel relieved as soon as we begin the procedure.
You’ll likely experience post root canal discomfort and pain for a few days. However, any pain or discomfort you do feel will be mild. Dr. Alston will recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever to manage the pain, so it won’t be a thing you need to worry about. However, if the pain worsens or lasts beyond a week, you should visit your dentist for further treatment.
Where can I get a root canal treatment in Uptown Charlotte?
Root canals are not scary anymore, so you have no reason to be scared of being honest with your dentist.
If you think your tooth is infected or you’ve been told you need a root canal treatment in Uptown Charlotte, Genesis Family Dentistry is here to help! We offer pain-free root canals in Uptown Charlotte near Plaza Midwood and other innovative dental services to preserve your oral health and keep your smile bright.
Remember, the sooner you get treatment, the sooner you’ll get relief from toothaches, and the more likely it is that Dr. Aslton can save your tooth. Call (980) 272-4700 or schedule an appointment today, and we’ll be happy to help.