Save And Restore an Infected Tooth
With Root Canal Therapy at Thrive Family Dental
If you have a damaged or infected tooth, a root canal is an effective, quick way to restore your smile, and it is usually the only way to avoid tooth loss or necessary extraction. Dr. Friberg is an experienced endodontist and he can treat both anterior (front) and posterior (rear) teeth if they have become infected. We use modern tools and minimally-invasive techniques to ensure a quick, painless procedure. Contact our Wilmington practice to schedule your appointment.
Reasons for Root Canal Therapy
Root canals are required when the outermost layers of your tooth (enamel and dentin) are damaged and the interior “pulp” becomes infected. This can happen as a result of tooth decay, which weakens and softens the outer structure of your tooth. Oral injuries can also crack your tooth, exposing the pulp. When bacteria enters the interior of a tooth, the pulp becomes infected, often causing serious pain and discomfort. Other symptoms include swollen gums, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, and pain when chewing. Root canal therapy will remove any infected material and restore your tooth. The procedure will be performed at our office located at 8115 Market Street, Suite 204, Wilmington, NC 28411.
Understanding The Root Canal Process
Though root canal therapy may seem intimidating, this is a common procedure that is minimally-invasive, and it is often the best way to save an infected tooth. During the procedure, Dr. Friberg will remove any infected or damaged material from your tooth using specialized dental tools. This is all done under local anesthetic to keep you feeling comfortable. After removing damaged material, Dr. Friberg will cap your tooth with a crown to save and preserve its structure.
Are Root Canals Painful?
Our modern technology and minimally-invasive techniques ensure that your procedure is as painless as possible. In fact, root canals are the best way to get relief from the pain of an infected tooth, which can often be excruciating. Most patients report that the process of root canal therapy is much less painful than the toothache caused by infection. And if you are concerned about procedure, we have MEADOW the Rehabilitative Facility Dog to keep you feeling relaxed and comfortable throughout the entire process.
Can My Root Canal Fail?
While a root canal treatment can fail, it is rare in comparison to the successes. Root canals have a 95% success rate in removing the source of infection and damaged pulp while fully restoring the health of the tooth.
A root canal failure occurs when bacteria re-enters the tooth, either through a new injury, a broken dental crown, a broken seal, or failure to clean all of the canals inside of the tooth. This means that a root canal failure can occur within days after treatment or far into the future.
However, as long as you are going to a professional, highly experienced Wilmington dentist that you trust and you’re committed to practicing good oral hygiene, you have nothing to worry about. Only about 3% of root canal procedures fail within the first 3 years.
If a root canal does fail, it can be retreated. This involves reopening the tooth to expose the root canal system. The current dental fillings would be removed, your canals re-cleaned, and then the tooth refilled.
Signs Of a Failed Root Canal
The importance of regularly attending dental visits is apparent when you realize that that you can’t rely solely on symptoms to tell you what’s going on with your tooth. While many people may exhibit symptoms that are similar to the signs of infection that prompted them to get their first root canal, others may have no symptoms at all.
Keep in mind that just because you don’t feel any pain or notice any discoloration doesn’t mean that bacteria hasn’t penetrated the tooth. Look out for the following signs:
- Tooth pain or tenderness
- Tooth sensitivity (especially to heat and cold)
- Swelling of the neck or face
- Swelling around the tooth
- A pimple around the jaw
- Abscess near the affected tooth
The Root Canal Aftercare & Healing Process
Most patients recover from a root canal procedure within a few days while others may take a week. After your treatment, you will still be numb from the anesthetic for a few hours. You mustn’t eat until your mouth is no longer numb. Eating or drinking hot liquids while your mouth is numbed can cause accidental injuries.
Once the anesthetic has worn off, stick to soft foods for the first few days, avoid hot liquids for the first 24 hours, and chew on the opposite side of your mouth. It is normal to feel some level of pain or tenderness in the first few days.
Your tooth may be sore from the procedure, but should still be mild overall. Take anti-inflammatory pain medication to reduce pain and swelling. You should also keep your head elevated and use an ice pack to reduce swelling. Do not chew hard or sticky foods for at least a few days and should avoid smoking while you recover.
You should also avoid exercise or strenuous activities for a few days to encourage healing. Keep your mouth clean by brushing and flossing as per normal but be careful around the tooth that received the root canal.