7 Top Questions About Root Canals
What is a Root Canal?
Root canal therapy aims to remove bacteria from the infected root canal, stop the infection from returning, and preserve your natural tooth. A root canal is necessary when the inflamed or infected pulp needs to be removed. During this procedure, the inside of the tooth will be cleaned and disinfected before being filled and sealed.
What are the signs of needing a root canal?
A root canal might be necessary if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Sharp pain while chewing or biting
- Pimples on the gums
- A chipped or cracked tooth
- Sensitivity to hot or cold that lingers even after the sensation has been removed.
- Swollen or tender gums
- Deep decay or darkening of the gums
Will I feel pain during or after the root canal?
Many endodontic procedures aim to alleviate the discomfort caused by inflamed or infected tooth pulp. Most patients report being comfortable with current anesthesia and pain management methods.
After your treatment, it’s common to experience a few days of sensitivity in the tooth, particularly if there was pain or infection present before the procedure. The pain and discomfort can be treated with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Follow your dentist’s instructions carefully.
After completing your endodontic treatment, your tooth may feel slightly different from your other teeth. If you experience severe pain or pressure lasting longer than a few days, it is best to call your dentist.
How much will the root canal procedure cost?
The fee for this dental procedure will depend on the severity of the problem and which tooth is impacted. For example, molars are generally more challenging to treat and require a higher fee. Many dental insurance policies cover some, if not all, of the cost of endodontic treatment.
In general, endodontic treatment and restoration of the natural tooth cost less than extracting the tooth. If a tooth is removed, an implant or bridge must be put in place to support the teeth on either side and enable chewing. These alternative procedures can often cost more than endodontic treatment and restoration.
After the procedure, will the tooth need any special care or additional treatments?
Do not chew or bite on the treated tooth until your dentist has had a chance to restore it. If you leave your tooth unrestored, it is more likely to fracture, so you should schedule a meeting with your dentist for a full restoration. Good oral hygiene, which includes brushing and flossing daily and regular checkups and cleanings, is crucial for keeping your teeth healthy.
What can I eat after a root canal?
After getting a root canal, try to eat softer foods that don’t require much chewing. This includes applesauce, yogurt, eggs, and fish. Be careful when consuming hard or hot foods to prevent cavities or tooth pain. Some dentists recommend not eating for a few hours until the numbness from dental work fades so you don’t accidentally bite your cheek or tongue.
Does a root canal kill the tooth?
Even though a root canal removes the tissue, it doesn’t kill the tooth itself. In fact, after a successful root canal procedure, your treated tooth will return to work just like it did before you had any issues. Although root canals remove the nerves inside a tooth, these nerves are not essential for a fully formed tooth.