It’s time to smile again
ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
Have you ever experienced a toothache and thought if you ignored it long enough, it would just sort itself out? It usually doesn’t. What’s worse is that niggling toothache may progress into the most excruciating pain of your life. Go ahead. Ask someone who has been there and they will tell you!
Why toothaches hurt so much?
A painful tooth is literally in your head. That fact offers you little opportunity to find a comfortable position to neutralize the waves of discomfort, as opposed to a painfully sprained foot, for example, which you can elevate and apply ice pack to get some sort of pain relief.
Additionally, your teeth are unique “organs.” Within the body of each tooth lies the dental pulp, commonly thought of as the nerve of the tooth. In actuality, the dental pulp is more complex than that. It contains blood vessels that nourish the tooth, connective tissue, and nerve fibres. Unlike other parts of the body, the delicate blood supply to the dental pulp is limited by a tiny opening at the tip of the root and the rigid walls of the tooth itself, sort of like a solid closed container.
If the injurious insult such as a broken filling, a chipped tooth, or early to moderate decay, is not too severe, the dental pulp may be able to respond adequately to the challenge and maintain its vitality. On the other hand, if the trauma (severe physical damage, deep decay, gum disease, etc.) is extreme, your tooth’s circulatory system is not flexible enough to cope with the noxious threat. This can lead to cell death, pulp necrosis and even abscess formation (infection). Ewww…
What’s more dental nerves do not feel heat, cold, sweets, or touch. When the dental nerve is stimulated, its response is pain. While dentists may test a tooth’s status by using various stimuli including thermal testing and biting pressure to diagnose a dental problem, any reaction to such stimuli is pain. What stimulus the tooth responds to and how long the discomfort lingers is often diagnostic to the status of the pulp/nerve and helps determine the appropriate treatment which can be a bite adjustment, desensitizing application, a filling or root canal treatment.
Dental pain can be disabling – it would be quite difficult (or impossible!) to concentrate on what you’re doing. So if you are suffering from a toothache, please seek a dentist’s care as soon as you can. We feel your pain.
How does root canal treatment save the tooth?
When you undergo root canal treatment, the inflamed or infected pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected, then filled and sealed with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Afterwards, the tooth is restored with a crown or filling for protection and will continue to function like any other tooth.
Endodontic treatment helps you maintain your natural smile, continue eating the foods you love and limits the need for ongoing dental work. With proper care, most teeth that have had root canal treatment can last a lifetime.
Does root canal treatment hurt?
You will most likely be given local anaesthesia (injection to numb the tooth) during a root canal treatment. Therefore, it shouldn’t be more painful than a regular dental procedure, such as a filling or getting a wisdom tooth removed. However, following a root canal treatment, you may feel a bit sore or numb after the procedure, and can experience mild discomfort for a few days.
There are a few symptoms that mean you might need to have a root canal treatment:
Can I go to school or work after getting root canal treatment?
Although you will most likely feel numb for 2-4 hours following the procedure, most patients are able to return to school or work directly following root canal treatment. However, you should probably avoid eating or drinking until the numbness is completely gone.
We look forward to seeing you!