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Most people who think about root canals think of them as prohibitively painful procedures. But most patients actually report that a root canal is no more painful that having a filling procedure performed!

Why would you need a root canal?
If a tooth’s pulp is inflamed or infected, you may need a root canal. Your tooth can become infected if you have a deep cavity, a cracked or broken tooth, an injury or trauma to the tooth, or even repeated dental procedures on the same tooth. The pulp is the soft layer of connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels which lie beneath the dentin, which is covered by a layer of hard tooth enamel. A tooth can survive without the pulp because of the surrounding tissues which nourish it.

What happens during a root canal?
First, an opening is made through the crown to the pulp chamber, where infected pulp is removed. Next, the area inside is cleaned and disinfected. Then, the tooth is filled and sealed with a rubber compound known as gutta-percha. This is to keep the canals clear of contamination and infection. The tooth is then restored with a crown, and will function just like your normal tooth!

How do recover after a root canal?
You may feel tenderness in the area for a few days after the treatment while your body heals. The temporary tenderness in your mouth and jaw can be treated by over the counter pain medications. While you are recovering, you will want to avoid eating until the numbness wears off, so that you don’t bite your cheek or tongue. Do not bite or chew on the treated tooth until the crown has been restored. Brush and floss your teeth as you normally would.

A properly treated tooth that has been restored can last as long as your natural teeth. You will need to practice the excellent oral hygiene you already do with your normal teeth: brushing and flossing twice a day, and keeping your scheduled checkups and cleanings.

If you are experiencing persistent tooth pain or have questions regarding root canal treatment, please call our office at 480.827.1234 and let one of our skilled dentists help you restore your beautiful, healthy smile!