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Signs You Need A Root Canal

Woman holding her jaw and frowning due to tooth pain.

How Do You Know if You Need A Root Canal?

When we injure one of our teeth or experience tooth decay, this can cause serious dental health complications and pain. In situations where a dental problem goes unaddressed for too long, a patient may need a root canal procedure. There are several common signs that indicate root canal treatment is necessary, some of which include the following:

  • Toothache
  • Pain While Chewing
  • Sensitivity to Cold or Heat
  • Swelling of the Gums and/or Face
  • Tooth Discoloration/Graying
  • Tender or Swollen Gums
  • A Chipped or Cracked Tooth
  • Drainage from the Affected Area

If you are experiencing any of these listed symptoms, or have other reasons to be concerned for the health of your teeth, scheduling a dental appointment is the first step to restoring your oral health.

What is A Root Canal?

A root canal, or root canal therapy, is a procedure that is conducted when a tooth has been injured or suffered from decay that results in inflamed or infected pulp.

Canals are surrounded by nerves and blood vessels which are protected by tooth enamel and the pulp of the tooth. If the pulp is exposed, this leaves the root canals vulnerable to bacteria and infection. During a root canal procedure, the roots and pulp are removed and the canals are sealed off, preventing further damage and infection.

After the canals are filled and the nearby blood vessels and nerves are no longer at risk, your dentist or endodontist will cover the tooth with a temporary crown. After the area heals and a permanent crown is constructed, it will be bonded to your tooth to complete the dental procedure.

How Long Does A Root Canal Take?

If you are scheduled for a root canal or think you may need one, you may be asking yourself, “How long do root canals take?” The answer will differ from patient to patient, but the procedure usually takes one to two appointments to complete. The first appointment is dedicated to removing tooth decay, and the second appointment is when the dentist applies a permanent crown. Each appointment takes about half an hour to two hours, depending on the extent of the damage.

Are Root Canals Painful?

If you are asking, “Do root canals hurt?” the short answer is no, but this question can make many people who have a damaged or infected tooth hesitate to schedule an appointment with their dentist. This is dangerous because if a tooth goes too long without treatment the condition can worsen.

A root canal should not hurt because your dentist will use anesthesia to numb the area before beginning the procedure. Other than some pressure and minor discomfort, you should not feel any pain during a root canal. Post-treatment, the repaired tooth/teeth will likely feel tender and sore but this usually only lasts a few days.

Avoiding Emergency Root Canal Procedures

Unfortunately, sometimes injuries or dental diseases go unnoticed untithe l soreness, pain, and swelling occur, alerting us to the fact that something is wrong. In order to avoid these situations, it’s important to take care of your teeth and gums on a daily basis and maintain good oral hygiene. This includes proper at-home care, like brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing, as well as regular dental check-ups, x-rays, watching your diet, and protecting your teeth from physical injury.

Root Canal Recovery Time

Recovering from a root canal usually only takes a few days, and you can expect a dramatic difference in comfort between root canals before and after periods. It may not look like much if your tooth was not cosmetically compromised, however, you will experience much less pain and discomfort post-treatment.

You can restore integrity to a natural tooth with a root canal procedure. Often, people who require a root canal will have extensive decay and/or infection. This can harm gum tissue, and surrounding teeth, and cause a lot of pain and other dental problems.

A root canal preserves the majority of the tooth structure, strengthening it and allowing it to function once again as a normal tooth.

Root Canal After Care

  • Avoid hard or crunchy foods (Eat soft foods such as oatmeal or yogurt for the first 24-48 hours after treatment)
  • Avoid cold and hot beverages and foods
  • Avoid drinking alcohol
  • Avoid smoking
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Talk to your doctor about what over-the-counter pain medication you can take for discomfort
  • Avoid strenuous activity for at last 24 hours

Can You Eat After A Root Canal?

Yes, you can eat after a root canal, but sometimes the procedure site is sensitive for the first few days after treatment. This means you should avoid foods that are hard, sticky, or crunchy, as well as very hot or cold foods and beverages. Try to eat soft foods like soup, oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies and protein shakes for the first couple of days after treatment.

Root Canal Therapy in Mundelein, IL

If you are searching for reliable restorative procedures from experienced dentists in Chicagoland, look no further than North Suburban Dental. With our extensive background in protecting and restoring smiles, you can count on us for all types of dentistry services, including cosmetic, restorative, and general.

Contact us online or when you call us at (847) 566-5100 to schedule your appointment!

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