When you hear “root canal” the first thing that might come to mind is a painful experience. However, root canals are actually a safe and common procedure in dentistry today. Root canals are used to treat infections of the inner tooth caused by bacteria or injury.
Common signs that may indicate you need a root canal include extreme pain when biting, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, swelling, and discoloration of the tooth. Let’s take a closer look at root canals to understand why they are necessary and what makes them safe.
What is A Root Canal?
A root canal is a procedure used to remove damaged or infected tissue from inside the tooth. During this procedure, your dentist will use special tools to clean out the infected tissue and then fill it with an inert material called gutta-percha. The entire process usually takes several visits with your dentist, one for diagnosis, one for treatment, and one for follow-up.
Are Root Canals Safe?
Yes! A root canal is actually a safe procedure that helps protect your teeth from further damage or infection. During the procedure, your dentist will use special tools to clean out the infection and replace it with an inert material, usually gutta-percha that will help prevent any further damage from occurring. In addition, all of your dentist’s tools are sterilized so there’s no risk of contamination during the procedure.
Benefits of Getting a Root Canal
Getting a root canal can be beneficial because it prevents further decay or infection of your tooth. Moreover, if you don’t get treated promptly, there’s a chance that bacteria could spread to other parts of your mouth which could lead to more serious health problems down the road such as abscesses or gum disease. A root canal also helps restore function to your teeth so you can talk and eat normally again without pain or discomfort.
The benefits of having a root canal greatly outweigh any potential risks involved in the procedure. A root canal can help to restore your tooth’s natural shape and strength, while also preventing further decay or infection from occurring in that area.
Additionally, having a root canal done quickly may help you avoid more invasive treatments such as extraction or dental implants down the line.
Pain Management During Root Canals
Pain management during and after root canals has improved significantly over time thanks to advances in modern dentistry techniques and technology. Many patients report only minimal discomfort during their root canal procedures, particularly when local anesthesia is used to numb the affected area prior to treatment.
Afterward, most patients find that their discomfort subsides quickly with over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Your dentist will provide you with specific instructions on how best to manage your post-treatment pain and discomfort if needed.
Rare Root Canal Complications
Root canals are a common dental procedure to treat diseased or injured teeth. The procedure involves the removal of infected tissue from inside the tooth and its replacement with a filling material.
Unfortunately, this procedure can sometimes lead to rare but serious complications. These complications may include infection, pain, swelling, nerve damage, and even permanent loss of teeth due to incomplete treatment.
One of the most common rare root canal complications is infection. Bacteria can remain in the root canal even after cleaning out the infected pulp and sealing the area up with a filling.
If not adequately treated, an infection can spread throughout the body and cause systemic problems such as fever and swollen lymph nodes. Antibiotics may be used to treat an infection that has already developed in order to minimize any potential harm to other areas of the body.
Pain and Swelling
Another potential complication is persistent pain or discomfort in the affected tooth or surrounding area. This may be caused by inflammation due to an ongoing infection or inadequate seal of the root canal filling material.
In some cases, swelling may also occur around the affected tooth and other areas of the mouth due to inflammation or injury to nerves caused by improper instrument use during a root canal procedure.
Nerve damage is another possible complication arising from poorly performed root canals. During a root canal procedure, instruments must be used carefully so as not to injure sensitive nerve endings located deep within a tooth’s root structure.
Injury to these nerves can lead to localized numbness and pain in addition to other long-term oral health issues such as impaired taste sensation or difficulty with chewing food properly.
Permanent Tooth Loss
Permanent loss of teeth is another rare complication associated with improper root canal procedures.
If bacteria are left behind after treatment has been completed or if there are issues with insufficient sterilization techniques during preparation for treatment then there is a greater risk for reinfection which could potentially lead to tooth loss if not addressed quickly enough by your dentist.
The best way to avoid any potential issues related to a complex dental procedure like root canals is to consult with your dentist prior to undergoing any type of oral surgery so that they are aware of any existing conditions which might make you more prone to certain types of complications as well as providing them with regular feedback regarding symptoms that you experience during recovery.
In summary, getting a root canal is safe. It’s designed to help protect your teeth from further damage or infection while restoring normal function back into them again so you can speak and eat without pain or discomfort.
If you’re experiencing any signs of potential infection extreme pain when biting, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, swelling, or discoloration – don’t hesitate; make sure you schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible! Your oral health is important so make sure you take good care of it!
Dr. Jay Feldman
Dr. Jay Feldman is an experienced and highly-respected dentist with decades of experience in the field for over 10 years. He specializes in root canals and extractions, but he also provides general dentistry services such as check-ups, cleanings, fillings, sealants, and more. He dedicates much of his free time to contributing content for Here.