Serious tooth damage can result in a loss of teeth, but any dentist will tell you that keeping your natural teeth is the best thing for your mouth. That is why at East Village Dental Centre we want every patient to be able to keep their smile for the rest of their lives.
Severely damaged teeth sometimes need to be extracted, but there are many cases where this is not necessary and instead, they are able to be saved with a root canal if the underlying issue is a compromised pulp.
Root Canal Explained
A root canal procedure involves removing the damaged pulp that is in the center of the tooth and replacing it with a rubbery substance called gutta-percha and then sealing the tooth with a crown.
The pulp contains nerves and blood vessels which are ultimately the reason why deep stages of tooth decay can lead to excruciating pain - once the pulp has been infected or damaged, there generally isn’t anything left to do but remove it. This is often considered a last resort before the tooth itself dies, and thanks to modern dentistry we are able to perform this procedure without causing the patient pain with the use of a local anesthetic.
What Is It Like to Have a Root Canal?
You might be surprised to find that a root canal procedure is quite similar to getting fillings from the patient’s point of view. The area is numbed using local anesthesia and thus no pain is felt. And if you choose, we can provide additional sedative options to help you be at ease. Generally, a root canal procedure will take approximately an hour.
Like with most surgical procedures, there will be a recovery period after a root canal. You may experience swelling and discomfort for the first 24 hours. We recommend applying ice as needed and taking pain medication as instructed to ease the discomfort. After the first few days, the pain should start to go away.
Read more about post root canal care.
For your diet, try to limit chewing for the first few days, especially before the numbness from the local anesthesia has worn off. General food recommendations are mashed potatoes, yogurt, pureed soups, and smoothies - these foods will provide you with adequate nutrition for the few days you are trying to limit applying pressure to the root canal site. It is important to get your recommended amount of calories during these days and in fact, it should be easier than you may initially think - it is recommended to take a few days off from work and limit exercise to allow a faster recovery.
Once a week has passed you should feel back to normal. Contact us if you are still experiencing discomfort or problems with your dental crown. At East Village Dental Centre we want to ensure that your oral health is not compromised and if you need to come back in or you are a new potential patient who wants the best smile possible, you can contact our office to schedule an appointment or ask us questions at 773-341-9325.