People are always talking about the unpleasantries of undergoing a root canal, and let’s face it, it is not exactly a walk in the park. However, the discomfort you can undergo by not getting it done is far worse. You must know that getting a root canal is virtually painless and extremely effective in getting rid of tooth pain and cavities. Some pressure during the procedure is expected, but other than that, you can get back to biting and chewing with ease in no time. Let’s have a look at the signs that indicate you might need a root canal and how long the process actually takes.
Signs Showing Up Necessitating Root Canal
Here are 9 most common symptoms that become unavoidable in this condition.
- Severe Pain in Your Tooth
This is perhaps the most alarming and common signal prompting you to seek dental assistance. Intense pain in your tooth serves as a warning that the pulp chamber, which resides nerve endings and blood vessels, is under attack because of bacteria.
- Pimples on Your Gums
Pimples on your gums are most like bumps on the surface, indicating a more advanced stage of infection, an abscess. It is a result of infected fluids leaking through to the gum tissues near the tooth root. If you spot these or white dots anywhere, consider a root canal to prevent the infection from spreading further.
- Swelling in the Gums
Swollen gums are not normal and are an early sign of infection at the tooth’s root. This swelling is usually due to inflammation, indicating a disrupted blood flow between your jaw’s vessels and the pulp chambers of your teeth. It is crucial not to ignore the signs and to seek professional help before the swelling becomes more noticeable and uncomfortable.
- Discoloration in the Gums
If you notice a patch of your gums going darker than the rest of the lot, it is because of an infection near a tooth’s root. This discoloration is either restricted blood flow or plaque infiltration near the pulp of affected teeth. Being vigilant about such changes can help catch problems early on.
- Discoloration of the Tooth
A dead tooth is more than merely a cosmetic concern; take it more like a breeding ground for bacteria. Infection from the decomposition of dead pulp can only be solved by a root canal. If your pearly whites are starting to appear gray or black, consider this procedure to prevent further complications.
- Cracked or Broken Tooth
Physical trauma due to a sudden impact on the mouth leads to cracks or broken teeth, requiring immediate attention. While a chipped tooth is easy to address quickly, a broken tooth with an exposed inner layer is a ticking time bomb for infection. Acting smartly and more promptly with a root canal can save you from prolonged pain and potential complications down the road.
- Trauma to the Jaw
Jaw trauma with an open wound is a gateway to potential infection. Bacteria find their way in from the wound up to your teeth through the naturally formed root canal.
- Extreme Tooth Sensitivity
It is important to distinguish when it is non-serious general tooth pain and when the discomfort is because of sensitivity. If your tooth suddenly becomes overly sensitive to hot and cold foods, it might be an indication of a root canal necessity. Infections make your nerves overreact to temperature changes, resulting in prolonged discomfort.
- Swelling on Your Head and Neck
A tooth abscess is an advanced stage of infection where the level of bacteria becomes dense enough to travel through the bloodstream. Systemic infection results in swelling in the neck, accompanied by sharp pain. Moreover, it also is a clear indicator of an abscess affecting your lymph nodes. Choosing a root canal well before reaching this stage is a proactive measure to prevent further complications.
How Long Does A Root Canal Take?
Now that we have covered the warning signs, let’s talk about the practical side of undergoing a root canal. The duration of a root canal lies between 30 and 60 minutes, though complicated cases may require up to an hour and a half.
The entire process involves two appointments. During the first, the dentist focuses mainly on cleaning and shaping your tooth’s interior area, taking care of the issues with drilling, filing, and rinsing if needed. The second appointment is all about your tooth’s exterior, filling and sealing the now disease-free space.
The timespan between these appointments changes based on the severity of the infection and the chosen medication. Most second visits occur between 1 and 3 weeks after the first. If you are undergoing a single-appointment treatment, all the necessary steps are completed in one session.
Root Canal Recovery Time
The good news is that recovery from a root canal is pretty quick. Expect to experience some discomfort or irritation in the initial days right after your surgery; it is nothing to be worried about. Dentists prescribe OTC (over-the-counter) medications to manage pain for the time being. Other than that, applying a cold compress to the affected area also helps alleviate discomfort.
You must not forget that maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial during recovery. Continue brushing and flossing every day, but be gentle around the treated tooth. Until you receive a dental crown or filling, avoid putting too much pressure on the tooth or biting directly on it.
Let’s put it this way: recognizing the signs that may lead to a root canal is a good way to avoid emergency situations. Familiarizing yourself with the root canal process can alleviate some of the anxiety associated with this dental procedure. If you want to learn more about this, get in touch with experts from Trinity Dental Centers at (281) 724-4510.