A root canal is a procedure our dentist at Bruce R. Clark, DDS, MAGD, will perform to remove damaged or infected pulp from a tooth. This treatment can save your tooth and allow you to keep your natural smile rather than extracting the tooth altogether. A root canal treats a tooth that has become infected or inflamed and is causing you pain. The dentist will numb the tooth and the surrounding area before opening it to remove the pulp, nerves, and decay. Then, the dentist will carefully clean and shape the inside of the tooth and place a unique material inside to seal the canals. Finally, a crown will be placed over the chipped tooth to protect and restore its function.
You may experience lingering discomfort for a few days after the treatment, but this is normal and can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medications. If you continue to feel pain or pressure the days after your procedure, call your dentist immediately for a follow-up appointment.
Many people wonder if they should get a root canal or if they can remove the tooth instead. If the infection is left untreated, the disease could spread to the bloodstream and cause dangerous complications. In severe cases, an abscess can form, which needs to be drained by an oral surgeon. That’s why it’s so important to seek dental treatment as soon as you notice signs of an infection. If the condition isn’t treated quickly, the permanent loss of your tooth could be the result. Not getting a root canal when needed could also mean undergoing another painful procedure. If a severe infection goes untreated long enough, it could even cause hospitalization due to sepsis. Treating an infected tooth is much better than putting yourself through that pain and risk.
Many people who get root canals report feeling no pain during the procedure. While there may be a slight discomfort afterward, it should be nothing compared to the pain of an untreated cavity. For this reason, we recommend getting regular checkups to catch and treat cavities before they become infected.
We will ensure you’re entirely numb if you need a root canal before starting treatment. The numbing will take effect quickly, so you’ll barely feel anything while we work on your tooth. Afterward, you may feel soreness and sensitivity for a few days while the tissue heals. This is normal, and any pain or swelling can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications or an ice pack. We may also recommend an anti-inflammatory mouthwash to relieve pain or irritation caused by your procedure. You’ll feel better after the process, and the infection that caused your pain will be gone.
For more information, visit Bruce R. Clark, DDS, MAGD, at 2550 Stover St E-102, Fort Collins, CO 80525, or call (970) 498 8607. We can also help you prevent the need for another root canal in the future with good oral hygiene habits and regularly scheduled cleanings and exams.