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Medford, OR 97504
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Root Canals

An effective way to preserve your natural smile

If you are told that a tooth requires a root canal procedure, there’s no need for alarm. Today, a root canal procedure is as routine and comfortable as receiving a dental filling. Because a healthy natural dentition support your oral health and overall well-being, root canal therapy is a widely recommended procedure as opposed to having the tooth extracted. As a matter of fact, a root canal procedure is typically the best way to relieve toothache pain, save a damaged tooth, and preserve your natural smile.

Why you may need root canal therapy

Inside each tooth is a central chamber containing connective tissue, a nerve supply, and blood vessels. These core tissues are known as the dental pulp. The dental pulp provides nourishment, keeps the tooth vital, and alerts you of problems.

When a tooth needs a root canal, it is because the dental pulp has become irreversibly damaged or has died. If enough intact tooth structure remains, and there’s good bone support around the compromised tooth, you do not need to have the tooth extracted. You can preserve your natural tooth by having Dr. Johnson perform a root canal on the tooth.

Although not every instance of dental discomfort indicates the need for root canal therapy, there are some warning signs that may indicate the need for root canal therapy such as:

  • Unresolved, persistent pain that may wake you up at night
  • Hot or cold temperature sensitivity with lingering pain
  • Discomfort with chewing pressure or the slightest touch
  • Swelling around the tooth and gums
  • Chipped, cracked or fractured tooth
  • Darkened discolored tooth from trauma
  • Tooth mobility

The importance of timely care

While some of the above signs and symptoms can indicate other dental problems, they all require prompt evaluation and care. In some cases, a tooth in need of root canal therapy has not yet demonstrated overt symptoms. It may first get diagnosed and brought to your attention following a routine exam. Typically, these teeth show radiographic evidence of periapical pathology (root end pathology) or other types of structural damage.

It is essential that when a root canal is recommended you receive timely care. Delaying the procedure increases the risk of developing more widespread and severe symptoms. A dental infection can pose significant consequences to your oral health and even threaten your overall health and well-being.

How is a root canal procedure performed?

With the modern dental instruments and advanced techniques available today, having a non-surgical root canal procedure is often as comfortable as getting a routine dental filling.

While some root canals can be completed in one visit, others may involve 2 or 3 appointments. How long it takes depends on factors such as the number of canals in a tooth, its anatomy, and whether an active infection is present.

During a root canal procedure, our dentist will remove the diseased dental pulp, clean the internal portion of your tooth, and then fill all the prepared canals with a biocompatible filling material. Root canal therapy is typically performed under local anesthesia, but additional options in dental sedation are available to reduce any anxiety associated with dental procedures.

What to expect following root canal treatment

At the office of Dental Excellence, the care and comfort of our patients are our top priorities. Our goal is to help our patients enjoy optimal oral health and to keep them well informed every step of the way.

After your root canal procedure, you may experience the following:

  • Until the anesthesia wears off

    Immediately following your dental visit, you may experience a period of lingering numbness. Normal sensation typically returns within an hour or two. However, until the anesthetic has completely worn off, it’s essential to protect yourself from unintentionally biting or injuring your lips, cheeks, gums, or tongue. Be mindful of chewing, drinking hot beverages, or smoking.

  • Post-procedure discomfort

    A root canal procedure will alleviate the pain of a toothache. However, you may still experience some mild to moderate discomfort in the immediate aftermath when the anesthesia wears off. These feelings should subside within days. To help prevent any undue pressure, which may cause pain, the biting surface of the involved may be slightly filed and taken out of occlusion. Our office will also recommend appropriate over-the-counter pain medications and provide a prescription if indicated.

  • Take any antibiotics as prescribed

    If you have been given a prescription for antibiotics to treat or prevent an infection, it’s essential to complete the course of medications as prescribed.

  • Be mindful of the involved tooth

    Even with a temporary filling, a tooth with a root canal remains vulnerable to stress and can fracture until a permanent crown or suitable permanent restoration is placed. In the interim, be mindful of the involved tooth. Try to chew on the opposite side of the mouth and avoid hard and sticky foods.

  • Continue to brush and floss

    While you need to be mindful of a tooth that has received root canal therapy, it’s essential to continue to brush and floss. By maintaining proper oral hygiene, you’re preventing further problems as well as supporting healing and optimal oral health.

  • Get the tooth restored in a timely fashion

    To rebuild the strength and integrity of a tooth that has received a root canal therapy, it needs to be restored with a permanent crown or suitable restoration. Until that time, the remaining tooth structure is weak and vulnerable to fracture. The sooner a permanent restoration is placed, the sooner you can bite and chew with confidence and ease.

With proper maintenance and care, a tooth that has been treated with root canal treatment can last a lifetime.

At the office of Dental Excellence, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of care. If you have any additional concerns, continuing discomfort, or signs of an infection, or concerns following your procedure, contact our office for prompt attention and care.