Have you recently had a dental abscess and now need a root canal? Are you worried? Don’t be. In this article, 5 common questions relating to root canals are answered, helping you to become more familiar with the process.
5 common FAQs about root canals
Do root canals hurt?
In a word, no.
Your dentist W1 will ensure that before you have this treatment that your gum and jaw are sufficiently numbed. At home afterward, any discomfort you experience linked to a root canal should be manageable with over-the-counter pain relief. If it isn’t, contact your dental team.
Why would I need a root canal?
In general dentistry, there are 2 common reasons why a root canal is needed.
The first is linked to abscesses. If you have recently suffered from an infected tooth, your dental team may recommend this treatment to remove the source of the infection and restore the tooth. This will help you to maintain better oral health, stop you from suffering from any issues linked to gaps in your teeth, and will prevent you from needing dental implants or dentures.
The second reason for a root canal is linked to a tooth being severely damaged; if it has broken down the middle due to a car accident or other trauma, your dental team may recommend a root canal as part of the restoration.
Do I need to recover after having endodontics?
While some dental procedures are not advised directly after having a root canal (such as whitening), there is no real downtime after having a root canal performed.
But you may notice that the tooth and the area directly underneath it are likely to feel a bit sore or bruised for a few days after you have had the procedure performed; this is normal. If this goes on for longer than 3-4 days, worsens or you notice that you feel unwell, contact your dental team for an emergency appointment as the infection may have come back.
How long do they last?
Interestingly, a root canal that has been performed correctly can last the rest of your life without issue.
But, like most restorative procedures, you will need to maintain it. Even though it is below the gums, the tooth above it can still become susceptible to issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, and even loosening, so you will need to see your dental team every 6 months to ensure that the tooth is in good condition and that no issues are occurring below the gum line.
Also, you will need to maintain good oral hygiene at home, which will involve brushing twice daily, flossing, and keeping an eye out for any issues with the tooth or surrounding gums.
Is there an alternative?
It is important to remember when your dental team suggests a root canal that the procedure is designed to restore the tooth to its former health.
And so, there are no other real alternatives to having a root canal, other than an extraction, which removes the tooth as opposed to restoring it. To have a root canal performed, your tooth needs to be in good overall condition, and to have it removed without reason is not going to be the aim of any professional dental team.
If you want to learn more about root canals and how they can benefit you, talk to your dental team today.