Root Canal Therapy – A Way to Save Your Tooth
Dental treatments often get a bad rap thanks to scenes in movies and television shows that depict a dental experience gone wrong. Many times, root canals are the treatments performed or mentioned leaving many patients nervous when this effective tooth-saving treatment is suggested. We want to take a few moments and explain more about this treatment and why it can be the difference between saving or extracting your tooth.
What is a Root Canal?
A tooth is composed of many parts and layers. The external part of the tooth, or the enamel, can become damaged when there is decay. When the decay is not treated in a timely fashion or the decay grows too large, it can make its way into the inside of the tooth, causing the pulp to become infected. A root canal is the process of removing infected nerve tissue from the inside of the tooth. The root is then cleaned, disinfected, filled, and sealed. If a root canal is not performed when needed, the last resort is to extract the tooth to remove the infection.
Signs Indicating a Problem
If you delay hygiene examinations and recommended treatments, the likelihood of needing a root canal increases. We recommend visiting our office for a cleaning every six months and scheduling treatment appointments as soon as they are suggested. If you are between appointments and begin experiencing any of the following symptoms, we recommend visiting our office as soon as possible:
- Repeated sensitivity when eating or drinking hot or cold foods
- Swollen and tender gums
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Discomfort in teeth that have fillings
Care Following a Root Canal
Advancements in root canal treatments have changed the care following the procedure. Recovery is similar to that of a filling or dental crown treatment. We recommend avoiding eating and drinking until the numbing agent has worn off to keep you from biting your cheek or tongue and cause more damage. We also suggest chewing on the opposite side of your mouth and eating soft foods until you are more comfortable. Be sure to take any medication or pain reducers we recommend.
If you are located in the Silverdale, WA area and are experiencing any of the warning signs mentioned above or any discomfort in one of your teeth, please contact our office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. We want to help save your teeth!