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The Facts About Root Canal Treatment

11th April 2023

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When toothache hits, the pain is often excruciating. The sharp or throbbing sensation might make eating and drinking an uncomfortable nightmare, and the discomfort can ruin your day.

Your toothache is probably caused by damage to your tooth. What begins with sensitivity and weakened enamel slowly becomes a cavity. Gradually, bacteria will penetrate deeper into your teeth, leading to infection. It’s at this point the symptoms get worse.

If you’re experiencing dental pain, there’s a chance you have a root canal infection. When you have an infection, you’ll need a root canal treatment to remove it. But do root canals hurt? And, what’s involved in the procedure?

In this article, we’ll separate the fact from the fiction so you get a better understanding of what’s involved in your root canal treatment.

What Is a Root Canal Infection?

Below the layers of enamel and dentin that coat your teeth, there’s a chamber containing dental pulp. Dental pulp consists of living cells, connective tissue, and nerve endings. The dental pulp extends down into the root canals of the tooth.

When bacteria enter your tooth through a damaged area, you’ll experience pain. This pain is a warning sign. If you don’t take action, the infection could kill your tooth.

What Are the Symptoms of a Dental Infection?

Dental infections may cause one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Pain while chewing and biting
  • Swelling around the affected area
  • Swelling in the face
  • Sensitivity to temperature
  • Pus around the toot
  • Discolouration of your tooth

What Happens During a Root Canal Treatment?

The aim of a root canal treatment is to remove the infection and save your tooth. During your treatment, we’ll use images of the inside of your tooth to evaluate the extent of the infection.

We’ll carefully remove any infected matter before filling the inside of your tooth with a natural latex-like material called gutta-percha. Following this, we’ll close your tooth using a filling. Sometimes, we’ll suggest a crown to protect your tooth from future infections.

Do Root Canal Treatments Hurt?

It’s a common misconception that root canal treatments hurt. We use anaesthetics to make sure the procedure is pain and discomfort-free.

The simple fact of the matter is that the pain of the infection will be much worse than treatment. Not only that, an untreated root canal infection will get worse and cause further complications.

What Happens If I Don’t Have a Root Canal Treatment?

Ignoring a root canal infection is not a solution. Untreated, your infection will get worse. In a very short space of time, your infection will cause the tooth to die. At this point, the pain may subside. But the infection won’t have gone and the break from discomfort is only temporary.

After killing the tooth, you may develop an abccess. The infection will then spread to other parts of your mouth. Neighbouring teeth, gums, and your jaw could be affected. If the infection gets into the bloodstream, it could easily spread to other parts of your body, affecting organs like the heart.

Is It Easier To Remove a Tooth?

Removing an infected tooth might sound like a simple solution, but it’s not. Although the infection won’t harm you any more, losing a tooth doesn’t just leave gaps in your smile, it puts you at risk of health complications.

The gap left by a tooth can become a hotspot for bacteria and food debris. Because this area will be difficult to clean, you’ll become more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease in the surrounding area.

When you lose a tooth, the neighbouring teeth could shift into the gap. Added to this, when there’s no tooth to support, areas of your jawbone may deteriorate beneath the surface.

What’s Recovery Like After a Root Canal Treatment?

After your root canal treatment, you may experience some sensitivity. Any toothache that you once had will have gone. You can manage any residual swelling or discomfort with paracetamol or ibuprofen.

Immediately after your treatment, your mouth will feel numb. Avoid chewing and drinking any hot beverages while the anaesthetic wears off.

Root Canal Treatment at Durham Dental

A root canal treatment might not be top of your to-do list, and the myths surrounding them might be off-putting. But the procedure is straightforward and effective. Fighting infection is essential; it will put an end to your dental discomfort and stop further complications.

It’s best to avoid delays if there’s a chance you have a root canal infection. So, if you’re experiencing dental discomfort, call us today and arrange an appointment.

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