In our language the term “root canal” has become synonymous with a painful, unwanted, inconvenient experience.
And yet, our dentistry is evolving faster than our perception of it. Today’s root canal therapy can be more accurately described as a solution to pain, rather than a painful solution. At the Dental Image in Crown Point, our root canal therapy specialists can help you ease the pain of an infected tooth with a root canal procedure that is measured in minutes - not hours.
If you were to have a root canal procedure the way it was done 70 years ago, no doubt it would earn its place as one of your least pleasant experiences. In the past, dentists were forced to use hand tools to clean the infection from the root canal, scraping against infected nerves with insufficient anesthesia.
It hurts just reading it. That’s not how we do things anymore.
They say a carpenter is only as good as his tools, and in the case of root canal therapy, that holds true for dentists, too. Advances in dental tools allow the dentists at The Dental Image to quickly and easily clean the infection out of the root canal so that the tooth can be restored and proper healing can happen.
Meanwhile, today’s dentists have more options than ever to keep patients properly protected from pain and discomfort with the proper distribution of local anesthesia and, if necessary, sedation dentistry. Using these innovative tools, we can make a root canal a quick process that will do far more to alleviate your discomfort than add to it.
Your Crown Point dentists at the Dental Image will usually determine you need a root canal during your digital X-rays as part of your exam. By studying the X-rays, they can look at the shape of the root canals and figure out if the canal is infected. If it is, a root canal may be the best option to save the tooth and prevent the infection from spreading.
Your safety and comfort are our top priorities at the Dental Image. For each root canal therapy procedure, our smile specialists begin by using local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth to minimize any discomfort. In some cases, the infection of the root canal has already destroyed the nerve, so you may not feel pain during the procedure, but the anesthesia will make sure your procedure is as comfortable as possible.
Once we are certain of your comfort, we will use our specialized tools to create a small hole in the tooth to drain out the infection. These tools are specifically designed to quickly and thoroughly clean out the interior pulp and infected areas inside teeth, and they can do in minutes what used to take hours. Once the interior of the tooth is completely cleaned and we are confident that there is no infection left, we apply antibiotics inside the tooth to ensure that it does not return. After that, we fill the tooth and protect it by covering it with a cap or a crown, depending on the severity of the infection. The infection has weakened your tooth, and it is necessary to add some form of restoration and protection on top to keep it from breaking and allow you to comfortably resume eating normally without pain or risk.
Once our Dental Image Root Canal specialists fix your tooth, it will be numb for several hours. This will make eating difficult, so it is best to avoid eating until the numbness goes away. However, most patients can return to their normal activities immediately after a root canal. If sedation dentistry was used to reduce anxiety, you may have to wait until those effects wear off to resume your normal routine. Once the numbness wears off, you may feel some sensitivity following a root canal. This is usually due to tissue inflammation around the tooth, rather than from the tooth itself.
The discomfort will go away as the swelling subsides, and can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medications. There are times when our dentists may have to wait for a little while following root canal treatment to apply the permanent cap or crown to the treated tooth. This usually happens in cases where there is a threat of reinfection. During that time, it is important to try to avoid chewing with the treated tooth. This helps prevent reinfection and also protects a potentially fragile tooth from breaking before it can be fully protected. Once your procedure is done, the aftercare process for your tooth is the same as it would be for any tooth. Brush and floss regularly. Use a mouthwash. Visit your smile specialists at the Dental Image routinely for checkups. If you follow these protocols, your root canal should last a lifetime; root canals have a success rate of 95%.
If you have been experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, call our office immediately. You may have an infection and could require treatment.
Call our office to make an appointment. Root canal therapy may be necessary to get rid of your pain and reduce your stress.
10705 Randolph St., Crown Point, IN 46307
Our smile specialists are ready to make sure your smile is as healthy as possible. We offer treatments to meet your every dental need and customized plans tailored to your smile. At Dental Image, we believe everyone deserves a healthy, happy smile. Make an appointment today and let us help you find yours.