You may not look forward to the inconvenience of a root canal, but rest assured that it’s no more invasive than many other standard dental procedures. They’re pretty common, too – with more than 25 million performed every year in the United States.
At Airport Dental Care, located in Austin, Texas, Brian LaBombard, DMD, provides expert endodontic care along with any other of your dental care needs. If you should need a root canal, read on to learn what to expect with this simple procedure.
Why would I need a root canal?
Tooth pain is one of the first signs that you might need a root canal. The pain and aching may be a sign that the pulp, or soft tissue within your tooth full of blood vessels and nerves, is infected. A root canal removes the infection so the hard, outer portion of the tooth that you use every day can be preserved.
Other signs that you may have a root canal include:
- Red or swollen gums, or a pimple on the gums
- Sensitivity to hot and cold foods
- A darkened area of your tooth
- Pus along the gumline
Sometimes you may not have any symptoms of a pulp infection, but it’s evident on a routine X-ray and during a dental exam. This is why keeping up with regular dental appointments is so important to prevent serious pain and complications. Gone untreated, an infection in the pulp can lead to an abscess and extraction or tooth loss.
What happens during a root canal?
Dr. LaBombard numbs the affected tooth and surrounding area You can rest assured that your gums and teeth will be numb to any pain or discomfort.
Dr. LaBombard then creates a small hole in the tooth, and he thoroughly cleans out any damaged pulp tissues and bacteria. After clearing it out, he then fills and seals your tooth.
The whole procedure typically takes about an hour to 90 minutes, depending on the extent of the damage. If your tooth is badly decayed, you may need another appointment
to complete the procedure or a permanent covering like a dental crown or veneer.
What is recovery like after a root canal?
You can head home or even go back to work after a root canal. There might be some lingering numbness from the local anesthetic, but feeling returns to normal in a few hours. You may have some minor pain for a few days that can be easily managed with over-the-counter pain medications.
You care for the treated tooth just as you would any of your other teeth. Commit to brushing twice a day and flossing at least once. Regular professional cleanings and checkups with our team make sure your root canal was successful and that your other teeth stay healthy.
To get needed root canal treatment or other important oral care, call us at Airport Dental Care or schedule online.