Root Canal Treatment
At Contemporary Endodontics of Oklahoma we perform root canal procedures to treat inflamed or infected pulp tissue inside of a tooth. If you’re experiencing unbearable tooth pain, it may be a sign of inflammation or infection; the pulp inside of your teeth is rich in blood vessels and nerve endings, which makes it quite sensitive when it becomes damaged. Unfortunately, many patients suffer with tooth pain because they’ve heard that root canals have a reputation for being uncomfortable. This couldn’t be further from the truth—with modern endodontic techniques and local anesthesia, getting a root canal is no more painful than having a cavity filled. Root canal procedures allow us to save your natural tooth and avoid extraction.
What Happens During a Root Canal Procedure
The first step involved in a root canal is numbing the inflamed or infected tooth and the surrounding tissues to ensure that you’re comfortable throughout the procedure. Next, the crown of a tooth is opened to allow access into the pulp chamber and roots of the tooth. Inflamed or infected pulp tissue is removed using a series of files and the canal spaces are cleaned and disinfected. In some cases, if a tooth is too inflamed or infected, the tooth may need to be medicated and treatment completed at a second visit. When the inflammation or infection has cleared up, the root canals are filled with sealer and a material called gutta percha to prevent bacteria or debris from entering the root canals and causing further infection. Finally, the access opening at the top of the tooth is restored with a permanent filling material. In some cases the tooth may require a cap or crown and you will be referred back to your general dentist for that procedure.
Once your anesthesia wears off after your root canal, you may feel some soreness in the gums around the tooth and in the injection sites. Cold compresses and over-the-counter pain medications are usually sufficient for soothing any postoperative discomfort. While you can eat shortly after your treatment, you should stick with soft foods until you no longer experience soreness or sensitivity in the treated tooth.
Frequently Asked Questions About Root Canals
How long does a root canal take?
Root canals usually take about 60 to 90 minutes, but the amount of time depends on the anatomy of your tooth and how inflamed or infected it is. In some cases, treatment may be multiple visits depending on the amount of inflammation and infection present inside of your tooth.
Are you awake during a root canal?
Yes, you will be awake during your root canal treatment. Getting a root canal is similar to getting a cavity filled—general anesthesia is not needed. If you have dental anxiety, let us know and we can discuss options for sedation to help you feel calm and relaxed during your procedure.
What do you feel during a root canal?
Most patients simply feel pressure and movement, but not pain. You may have some discomfort as a result of keeping your mouth open for an extended amount of time—just like any other dental procedure, it might not be your idea of fun, but it’s usually not painful.
Do you need a cap or crown after a root canal?
Most patients need a cap or crown after a root canal, although sometimes an inlay or onlay can be used instead. Your general dentist will let you know what they think is best for the tooth. Occasionally, a dental filling might be sufficient for sealing the treated tooth, particularly if it’s a tooth near the front of your mouth and not a molar or premolar tooth.
Contemporary Endodontics of Oklahoma provides root canal treatment services in Edmond, OK. Call 405-285-5042 to learn more about the services we offer and to schedule your appointment.