Root canals relieve and prevent pain. Let’s face it: No one wants to get a root canal. But if you have to have one, you want it to be done by the best dentists in Tinley Park. When done properly, root canals relieve pain, prevent the worsening of decay, and can even save your natural teeth.
Despite its reputation for being painful, the root canal procedure itself is no more painful than getting a filling. The team here at McGonigle Dental Associates delivers effective, compassionate dental care in a calm and relaxing atmosphere.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal procedure removes damaged and infected nerve and pulp during a root canal, repairing and saving the tooth. Infection can happen when deep decay, cracks or chips in the tooth, or other irritants allow bacteria into the root canal.
Left untreated, damaged nerve tissue or pulp can break down, allowing bacteria to multiply inside the tooth. Infection can spread to the tissues around the tooth, and an abscess can form. Not only is an abscess incredibly painful, but it increases the risk of tooth and bone loss and even more serious medical issues.
What Happens During a Root Canal?
At McGonigle Dental Associates in Tinley Park root canal starts with an x-ray to assess the shape of the root canal and determine whether there are any signs of infection. Next, we'll numb the area near the tooth with local anesthesia. We offer IV Sedation for root canal and other dental procedures if you still feel particularly anxious.
We place a rubber dam around the tooth to keep the area dry and free of saliva during the procedure. Next, we drill into the tooth, remove the inflamed or infected pulp, and carefully clean and disinfect the inside of the tooth. Once we have removed the irritated and infected nerve and pulp, we fill the root canal with a rubber compound and top it off with a sealer paste. Finally, we restore the tooth with any crowns or fillings as needed for protection. The tooth will function like any other once this process is complete.
How do I know if I need a root canal?
The first sign is often sensitivity to heat and cold, but there can be other symptoms. If you notice any of these, you might need a root canal and should schedule a consultation as soon as possible:
Lingering tooth sensitivity, especially to heat or cold
Sharp pain while chewing or biting, or a pulsing toothache
Pimples on your gums
Chipped or cracked teeth
Swollen or painful gums
Deep decay or darkened gums
How long does it take to recover from a root canal?
It can take two to four hours for the numbness to wear off, but most people can return to work, school, or other activities right away.
The tooth might feel sensitive for the first few days until the inflammation resolves, especially if it was painful and infected before the procedure. Patients can usually manage this discomfort with over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve). Brush, floss, and use an antiseptic mouthwash just as you regularly would and see your dentist regularly. With proper care, most teeth with root canal repair can be prolonged, often for years.
Schedule your Root Canal consultation with McGonigle Dental Associates today
Don’t wait until decay worsens or the pain becomes unbearable. If you think you might need a root canal Tinley Park dentist Dr. Robert McGonigle and his team is here to help! Call McGonigle Dental Associates today to schedule a consultation.
Root Canal FAQs
Are root canals painful?
A root canal isn't more painful than a routine filling or a wisdom tooth extraction. However, a root canal can leave you sore after the procedure, and discomfort can last a few days. Still, leaving an abscessed or damaged tooth root untreated can be far more painful than the root canal needed to fix it!
Do root canals take two visits?
Not necessarily. We can do a root canal in one visit, but sometimes a second visit is required. It depends on the individual and the extent of the repair and restoration needed. We will discuss options for treatment and recovery during your consultation, so you have a solid understanding of what to expect before treatment begins.
Do I need antibiotics after a root canal?
We keep an eye out for any potential issues and take appropriate action if any develop on a case-by-case basis, including antibiotics. We may also suggest ibuprofen or acetaminophen for fever for simple illnesses or minor infections to avoid over-prescription of antibiotics when not necessary.
Can you eat after a root canal?
You might want to hold off on eating anything for a few hours after your root canal until the numbness wears off and stick to softer foods until you have had a few days to heal. Avoid anything hard or crispy. If you have to come back for a permanent filling or crown, try to avoid chewing with the tooth in the meantime to help keep the area cleaner and help prevent a fragile tooth from breaking before restoration is complete.
Do I need to have someone drive me home because of anesthesia?
Not if you have your root canal under local anesthesia. But if you have this procedure done under IV sedation, you will need someone to drive you home.
How much does a root canal cost?
The cost of a root canal depends on how complex the problem is and which tooth is affected. Since molars are more difficult to treat, the fee for root canals on those is usually more. It also depends on your insurance coverage. Most dental insurance policies provide some coverage of endodontic treatment. The cost of a crown, if required, varies depending on the material (metal, porcelain, ceramic, etc.).
Putting off a root canal can be even more costly and painful, with potentially life-threatening consequences. Risks of not treating a damaged or infected root canal include abscesses and serious infections that can spread into the bone. It can also lead to the loss of bone around the tip of the root and the loss of the entire tooth itself.
It is more expensive to replace an extracted tooth with an implant or bridge to restore chewing function and keep adjacent teeth from shifting than it is to get a root canal.
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