The evolving dental landscape has made great strides over the last few decades. A procedure such as a root canal, which would have been dreaded in the past, is now no more than a deep filling. Root canal therapy is typically performed to save a tooth with severe decay. It is usually performed with a local anesthetic to ensure there is no discomfort.
The Root Canal Process
You’ve been told you need a root canal to save a tooth and your mind starts to wonder. Don’t let it, a root canal is really no big deal. During a root canal, the dentist removes the pulp and the nerve from the tooth essentially leaving it hollow. The area is then gently cleaned and sealed. After which, the remaining tooth receives a dental crown to help strengthen and protect it.
Root Canal Aftercare
Sometimes the crown is not placed immediately because it is being fabricated in a dental laboratory. During this time, it is important not to break the tooth or dislodge the filling even if a temporary crown is placed. Since changes have been made to the tooth itself, the area will need to heal for a few days.
You should refrain from eating while the area is still numb to avoid injury. When you do eat, avoid biting down on the treated area. Avoid crunchy or sticky foods altogether. Instead, use cold soft foods to help soothe the area where the work was done. It is also best to avoid smoking and sucking through a straw during this time. Also, be sure to brush and floss gently while the area is healing.
Returning for Care
The dentist will likely want to keep an eye on the area to ensure that it is healing properly. You will also probably need to return for a permanent crown. Be honest with them and ask them any questions you may have. Once the permanent crown is placed it can last decades with proper care.
If you have been told you need root canal therapy, or suspect you might, make an appointment with our office today. Early intervention is always the best practice to save a tooth.