how do i know if i need a root canal?
signs of damaged or infected tooth
If your tooth is damaged or infected, we will always try to save it with a root canal, if possible. Signs of an infected tooth include: extreme sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, a persistent toothache, graying or discoloration of the tooth, and painful chewing. If you notice one or more of these signs, call us right away to schedule an appointment and get your smile back to health.
the root canal process
at waterftont dental
If your tooth is badly infected, Dr. Merguerian will try to save your tooth with root canal therapy. This treatment involves cleaning your tooth thoroughly and removing any of the infected pulp. Once the pulp is removed, Dr. Merguerian will seal your tooth to restore its proper shape and function. Root canal therapy is a fairly common restorative procedure, and Dr. Merguerian is as gentle as possible during your treatment.
root canal information
is root canal therapy painful?
Most patients say that the pain from their infected tooth is much worse than the root canal treatment itself. Dr. Merguerian is gentle and skilled, and has even had patients fall asleep during this procedure once they're numb. This common treatment will get you out of the pain of a damaged tooth. This can be done with local anesthetic or under sedation to ensure your comfort.
save your tooth
the benefits of a root canal
It’s always better to keep your natural teeth, even if they need restorative treatment. Root Canal Therapy can save your tooth from further damage and prevent an extraction. Keeping your natural tooth means you won’t need to replace it with a dental implant or risk your teeth shifting to fill the empty space. And at Waterfront Dental, we have resources for our patients to ensure they can get the treatment they need. If you think you have an infected tooth and may need root canal therapy, give us a call today to schedule an appointment with our friendly team.
How Long Does It Take
To Recover From Root Canal Therapy?
Recovery is immediate. You don’t need to do anything special to heal and recover from root canal therapy. The procedure is much less invasive than other oral surgeries like tooth extractions.
The only thing you’ll need to do is follow Dr. Merguerians’ instructions to avoid damaging or dislodging your crown if you have received a temporary crown. You will need to be careful when brushing or flossing, and you may need to avoid sticky, tough, and hard foods.
However, you also may need some time to recover from sedation if you choose IV sedation at our office. It may take up to 24 hours to fully recover from the sedative, so if you choose IV sedation at Waterfront Dental, keep this in mind. You will need to take a day or two off of work and avoid driving or operating heavy machinery during this time.
After your appointment, you may also notice that your tooth hurts. This may happen after a few hours, once your numbing wears off. This is normal, and to be expected. While cleaning out your tooth, the tools Dr. Merguerian uses may irritate the nerves and oral tissue around your infected tooth.
Usually, this pain will go away after a few days. If you notice severe, prolonged pain that lasts a week or longer, though, this is not normal, and may indicate that the infection has come back. Schedule a follow-up appointment at Waterfront Dental as soon as you can. Dr. Merguerian may need to perform another root canal treatment to fully remove the infection.
Is A Root Canal A Permanent Solution?
Yes. Root canal therapy is over 95% successful, and it can last a lifetime. During the root canal process, the nerves inside your tooth will be removed and replaced with an inert material that is biocompatible, and will stay strong for years and decades to come.
Then, your remaining tooth material will be covered with a filling or a dental crown. This protects the tooth from further infection, and restores its appearance and function. If you want to preserve your tooth for as long as possible, it’s very important to brush and floss thoroughly near the treated tooth.
This is because the remaining natural enamel around your filling or crown could still decay, and lead to another tooth infection. Because the nerve in your tooth will be removed, you won’t feel any pain or discomfort if this happens, but this can still cause negative oral health effects.
So make sure you’re brushing at least twice a day for two minutes, flossing once per day, and using antiseptic mouthwash. You should also maintain a healthy diet, and eliminate other unhealthy lifestyle habits like smoking or excessive alcohol use.
Finally, seeing Dr. Dawn Merguerian is also important to ensure your treated tooth remains healthy. She will check all of your teeth for signs of tooth decay, and take x-rays once per year to check for signs of reinfection or root canal failure. This gives you peace of mind, and ensures you can get help right away if there is something wrong with your teeth.