If you’ve recently noticed that your tooth feels painful and uncomfortable, one of the first few things that come to mind is applying home-based therapy to alleviate the pain. This could be rinsing the mouth thoroughly with salt water or hydrogen peroxide, compressing with ice cubes, or even using pain medications.
However, in cases such as a root canal issue, these treatments bring about little to no improvement in tooth health. Now that you’re looking for ways to alleviate pain immediately, it is wise to embark on the research journey. Your best bet can be to start with searching for a “dentist near me” for gaining information about the professionals and their experience. Know that this can be your first step towards restoring normalcy.
After diagnosis, it’s not uncommon for dentists to recommend root canal therapy as it’s one of the most effective treatments for tooth-related issues. While most people get terrified hearing they have to go through root canal therapy to solve their tooth issue, only very few actually understand what the treatment is all about.
About Root Canal Therapy
To start with, “root canal” and “root canal therapy” are two different things. While root canal therapy refers to treatment, a root canal is part of a tooth. More precisely, It is that soft inner part of a tooth containing the blood vessels, nerve tissue, and other cells. The root canal is also known as the pulp.
This pulp may become injured, inflamed, or infected, which often causes pain, swelling, and a sensation of heat in your gums. Thus, requiring root canal therapy to restore normal tooth health.
Root canal therapy, also called endodontic therapy, is typically done in about four steps and take one to three appointments to complete. The steps are
Once your dentist puts you in the right position and places a bib around your neck as stain protection, the first thing they will do is apply a numbing medication on your gum close to the affected tooth. This will help to make the process almost painless, although you may feel a burning sensation or sharp pinch at first.
2. Pulp Removal
Next up is the pulp removal, which begins with the dentist making a small opening in the top of the affected tooth. Special tools called files will be used to remove the damaged or infected pulp. Afterwards, your dentist will clean out all the canals or pathways in your tooth.
After removing the infected or damaged pulp, your dentist may coat the area using a topical antibiotic to prevent reinfection and ascertain that the current infection is eliminated. Then he will proceed with filling and sealing the tooth using a rubber-like substance called gutta-percha and a sealer paste.
4. Temporary filling
Here, the small opening made to access the pulp will be filled. This will be done using a soft, temporary material, and patients must not chew or bite on the tooth until the filling is complete.
Finally, with proper care, you should feel normal after a week or two. Some key steps to help fasten recovery include:
- Keeping your head elevated and not eating immediately after treatment
- Taking pain medications
- Using cold compress
- Avoiding inflammation triggers, e.g. hot beverages, smoking, alcohol, drinking from straws, etc.