A root canal is considered the treatment option of last resort, recommended for patients with a severely infected, decayed, or damaged tooth. A root canal can play an important role in restoring oral health and preserving your natural bite. Performed in the comfort of our family dentist office in Garner, today’s patients can benefit from the advances in the root canal procedure to minimize discomfort.
Root Canals: What to expect
A root canal will remove the infected pulp within the tooth and stabilize it with a biocompatible material placed into the pulp chamber. Our dental care team will ensure you feel comfortable and explain all aspects of the procedure before we begin. Similar to a dental filling, a local anesthetic is applied to numb the area. Most patients report little to no pain during the treatment, although it is common to feel pressure around the tooth being treated.
The process begins by creating a small opening in the back of the tooth. Our dental care team will gently remove the infected pulp, clean the interior pulp chamber and place the biocompatible material. Because most patients are experiencing significant discomfort as a result of tooth decay or infection, the procedure will bring immediate relief.
Mild swelling and tenderness in the treated area are common for the following 24-48 hours. An over-the-counter pain reliever is typically sufficient and can be taken as needed for the first few days. In most cases, we will recommend placing a dental crown over the treated tooth. This is to strengthen it and provide improved long-term stability. The crown will be placed at a second visit.
Root Canal FAQs
What are the signs of needing a root canal?
If you are experiencing sudden or sharp pain, notice changes in the color of a tooth or the surrounding gums or have an abscess on the gums, you may have an infected tooth. Increasing sensitivity to hot or cold can also indicate that severe decay is affecting a tooth. If you have any concerns about your dental health, scheduling a visit promptly can often mean that conservative treatment options will be effective.
Can I eat my normal diet after a root canal?
A soft diet is recommended for the first few days to minimize pressure on the treated tooth as it heals. After that, you can reuse your normal diet with no restriction.
How long does a root canal last?
This can depend on where the treated tooth is located. On average, root canals last up to 10 years, sometimes longer. Healthy oral habits and routine dental care will support the longevity of your root canal and help you avoid a dental emergency.