If your tooth is significantly damaged due to cavities and a filling is not sufficient to fix it, you may require root canal treatment to save the tooth. A root canal may sound scary, but it is a common procedure that is often done with minimal discomfort.
Benefits of root canal treatment
- Helps save damaged teeth
- Limits spread of infection
- Can reduce pain and infection, and improve oral health
- Allows for retention of teeth so they do not need to be extracted
Restoring damaged teeth
During a root canal procedure, the dentist will first apply excellent anesthesia prior to removing the infected part of the tooth. The tooth will be cleaned out and filled with a bio compatible root canal filling material, and a white filling will then be placed on top. If your root canal is on a back tooth, you will likely require a crown to be fixed over it to strengthen and cover the tooth. This is because once a root canal has been done, the tooth becomes brittle and when chewing forces are placed on it, it can become prone to fracture. A crown will protect the tooth and decrease the risk of the tooth breaking.
After care and more
In the first few days after a root canal, the area surrounding the tooth may feel a bit tender. This is part of the healing process and your dentist may give you a prescription for antibiotics or a painkiller to help with recovery.
Please note that it is important to maintain good oral hygiene, as a tooth that has had a root canal still needs to be properly cleaned to have good longevity. Brushing your teeth twice a day, daily flossing and having regular teeth cleanings at the dentist will help maintain good overall oral hygiene.