8 Common Questions about Root Canal Treatment
If you’ve been told you need a root canal, you likely have several questions. Below are the 8 most common questions asked about root canals.
- Are root canal treatments painful?
When done right, root canal treatments relieve the pain and does not cause it. Most pain comes from damaged nerve tissue and a root canal involves removing the damaged tissue, disinfecting the canal, and sealing it. Endodontists are pain management experts and most root canal cases can be treated quickly and comfortably.
- How many dental visits do I need to complete my root canal treatment?
It completely depends on each case, but thanks to the advancement of endodontic science and technology, generally most root canal treatments are completed in one to two visits.
- Should I have my tooth pulled and get an implant or just live with the gap?
Missing teeth can cause other teeth to shift, affect your ability to properly chew, and ruin your smile. Additionally, losing your back teeth will make you age faster and look older. Implants are a great option if your tooth cannot be saved, but it should not be your first option. Your natural tooth will look, feel, and function the best. Modern endodontics offer many treatment options to save your natural teeth.
- What will happen if I don’t do the root canal treatment?
An infected tooth will remain infected until the tooth has a root canal or is removed. If not treated, the infection can spread to the jawbone and surrounding areas. If that is the case, an abscess will form. It is imperative that you get an infected tooth treated as quickly as possible so as to not allow the infection to spread.
- How do I know if I have an abscessed tooth?
If you have an abscess, you will typically notice pain and swelling. The swelling itself is very unpleasant as it is filled with pus, bacteria, and decaying white blood cells. Some other symptoms include: severe pain, fever, swollen neck glands, pain during chewing, redness and swelling of gums, bitter taste in mouth, foul breath, gum tenderness, sensitivity of teeth to hot and/or cold, discomfort and uneasiness, open and draining sore on the side of the gum, and swollen area of the upper or lower jaw.
- My dentist gave me an antibiotic and now my pain is gone. Is the infection gone as well?
Sometimes the toothache will cease because the infection destroys the pulp of your tooth or the antibiotic helped your body overcome the bacteria. However, it is important to note that his does not mean the infection is gone. The source of the infection remains, and the infection will continue to spread if left untreated.
- Are there ways to help anxious patients? Can a root canal treatment be completed under general anesthesia?
Dental phobia is a very real issue. If you have dental anxiety, we offer many ways to help including oral sedation. In severe cases where dental fear or anxiety is extremely high, a root canal can be done in the hospital under general anesthesia or deep sedation.
- Why should I see an endodontist for my root canal? Can my dentist do it?
Endodontists are the experts in diagnosing, managing, and treating root canal infections because of several factors: they have an advanced education to become specialists, special expertise, are experts in pain management, and use cutting-edge technologies.
If you have additional questions about a root canal treatment that haven’t been answered here, please give our office a call at (610) 489-5555