Root Canals in Hickory, NC
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed. Root canals are beneficial if you have a tooth whose internal structures are damaged. Root canal therapy can restore your tooth to its state of health by treating the specifically the damaged part of said tooth.
Symptoms & Signs You May Need a Root Canal
Inside each tooth is the pulp, which provides nutrients and nerves to the tooth. This pulp runs like a thread down through the root of the tooth. When the pulp is diseased or injured, the pulp tissue dies. If you don't remove it, your tooth can become infected and you could experience pain or potentially even loss of the tooth. After the dentist removes the pulp, the root canal is cleaned and sealed off to protect it. Then your dentist may choose to place a crown over the tooth to help make it stronger.
What Causes Damaged Pulp?
Damaged pulp is typically caused by an infection, such as tooth decay, that reaches the cracked tooth or the nerve. Another cause of damaged pulp is trauma to your tooth. If your tooth has suffered trauma, such as a crack, this can cause damage to the sensitive nerves within.
If you have the following symptoms, it is important to see your dentist right away:
- Tooth discoloration
- Localized pain (mild to severe)
- Swelling or irritation around a tooth
If you are experiencing severe pain, swelling, tender lymph nodes or fever, this could be a sign of a serious medical condition and an office visit should be scheduled as soon as possible. Your doctor will address your symptoms to determine if a root canal is the best plan of action.
Preparation and Post-Procedure Information
If your tooth is already infected, Dr. Robinette may prescribe an antibiotic to treat the infection before the root canal procedure. We advise you to not drink alcohol for at least 24 hours before your appointment and avoid smoking for at least 72 hours before your appointment. Smoking and drinking can slow down the healing process as well as lead to potential complications.
After your root canal is completed, your mouth may be numb for several hours if a local anesthetic was used. Avoid chewing and hot beverages until the numbness has worn off. It is possible that you will feel some discomfort for a few days after the procedure, but this is normal. Taking an over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen can reduce post-procedure pain.
After the procedure, continue to brush, floss, and use mouthwash as you normally would.
If you have increased swelling and pain after the procedure, contact your dentist immediately. Be sure to discuss with your dentist further about root canal preparation and recovery.
Scheduling Your Root Canal
Most of the time, a root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort involving one to three visits. Contact Dr. J.D. Robinette for more information on root canals in Hickory, NC.