So the day has finally come. Your dentist has told you that one of your teeth is extremely damaged and you need root canal therapy. This has been the day you’ve been dreading for years. You’ve always heard about how painful root canal therapy is. Can’t they just pull your tooth and be done with it? Actually, the “pain” often associated with the procedure is a complete myth thanks to modern dentistry. Root canal therapy is actually one of the best ways to relieve your worst tooth pain, not cause it. Dr. Bradley Mitchell is going to answer some of your most common questions about getting a root canal in OKC, and let you know why you have nothing to fear.
1. Why Do I Need Root Canal Therapy?
Your tooth is actually composed of layers. You’re probably familiar with the outermost layer, enamel. Just inside it is a layer of a material called dentin, and within that lies the dental pulp. This is where the nerve of your tooth resides, and this is why you are able to feel your teeth. When a cavity has been left alone for a long time or the tooth has suffered an injury, the pulp can become damaged. At this point, your tooth is probably in a lot of pain because the nerve itself has become affected. Here are some other signs that you may need a root canal:
- Swelling or redness in the gums around the tooth
- Swelling or sensitivity in the cheek around the tooth
- Pain when biting down on the tooth
- A bump on the gums right below the tooth
The kind of pain associated with this is much more severe than an average toothache. At this point, you should act quickly or the tooth may need to be removed entirely. One of the best ways to save it is with root canal therapy.
2. What is the Procedure Like?
Once you come in for a root canal at Mitchell Smile Design, the procedure involves 3 basic steps:
- An access hole will be drilled into your tooth to access the pulp.
- The damaged pulp will be removed and the area will be cleaned.
- Your tooth will be filled with a substance to support its structure and prevent it from becoming infected.
The procedure can take anywhere from 30-90 minutes depending on your particular situation. Most of the time, it can be completed in one visit. If a large amount of your tooth needed to be removed, you may need to return for another visit to have it fully restored with a crown.
3. Will It Hurt?
This is the big question. The definitive answer is no. The area that is being treated will be thoroughly numbed before the procedure even begins. This will assure that you will feel no physical discomfort at any point. The pain of the infection or injury you are suffering will actually be much greater than anything you will feel during your root canal. It is intended to relieve your pain, not cause it. You can come into the office with the peace of mind that you will not be hurt in any way.
4. How Will It Feel Afterward?
Afterwards, your tooth may be a little more sensitive, but it will feel much better than it did before. Any lasting discomfort should abate in a week or so, and can be easily managed with over-the-counter medicine.
Have More Questions?
If you still have questions about root canal therapy, please give us a call today. Our team at Mitchell Smile Design is always ready to answer your questions and help relieve whatever anxiety you might be feeling. Always know that you will get the best possible care whenever you come see us.