The dental issues that cause the need for root canals often make patients uncomfortable. At the bare minimum, patients will experience an excruciating toothache. These toothaches may be spontaneous, occurring even when the patient is not using the tooth. Eventually, this may evolve into a severe headache. Many patients often do not make the connection between the toothache and the headache.
A tooth that is still alive will also be sensitive to heat and cold, even after the patient has removed the stimulus. The tooth may be particularly susceptible to heat sensitivity. Patients with teeth that are already dead and have become abscessed will cause pain when the patient chews or otherwise puts pressure on the tooth. Any abscesses may produce swelling or bleeding, even to the point of requiring emergency care.
Chips or cracks in the tooth allow empty spaces for bacteria to settle in and cause infection and inflammation, while tooth sensitivity may be a sign of severe decay or nerve damage.
Tooth sensitivity may linger longer when the blood vessels and nerves in the tooth have become infected or damaged. Swelling may also come and go. It is frequently associated with abscesses, which may be accompanied by unpleasant taste and odor.
Infected teeth may also feel looser than healthy teeth, due to nerve death softening the bone. Furthermore, teeth may turn grayish-black when the roots have been damaged and the internal tissue has been broken down.
A root canal procedure may require multiple office visits. The first step is for our team to take an X-ray to see the shape of your root canals and look for any signs of infection. Then, during the actual procedure, the dentist removes the inflamed nerve and pulp of the tooth. The inside of the tooth will be cleaned and sealed.
It is a common misconception that root canals are excruciatingly painful. With modern technology, getting a root canal is not much more uncomfortable than getting a cavity filled. Root canals can address the causes of any pain you have been experiencing due to the damaged tissues.
This varies on a case-by-case basis. However, most patients can expect one or two 90-minute appointments.
Avoid placing any pressure on the affected area, and eat carefully. Refrain from chewing on the side of the mouth where you had your root canal. Opt for soft foods until your tooth has healed. Usually, patients can manage any pain or discomfort during this time with over-the-counter medication.
You may be uncomfortable for a few days after the anesthesia wears off, especially if you were already dealing with swelling and inflammation. You should be able to return to your normal activities as soon as the day after the procedure. If your pain worsens or does not subside, call our office immediately.