What Is Root Canal Therapy?

We understand that root canal treatment has a bad reputation. You have probably heard at least one person say how much they don’t want to do something by saying, “I’d rather have a root canal!” And while we laugh when someone says this, it just perpetuates the myth that root canals are painful. In fact, having root canal treatment is no more uncomfortable than having a filling placed!

During a root canal procedure, our team makes a small hole into the problematic tooth. Through this hole, we are able to remove the damaged or infected tooth pulp and fill the area with an antibiotic to kill off remaining bacteria and protect against future infections. After the tooth is cleaned out, we’ll take a quick X-ray to make sure we removed all the pulp, and then we’ll place a filling or a crown. Both of these restoration options keep food particles and debris out of the tooth and provide additional strength.

Our goal is to provide gentle root canal therapy to patients who need it. We make sure to numb the area thoroughly before we begin, and we always work at a pace that you’re comfortable with. If you ever feel like you need more local anesthesia or want to take a break, let us know! We can also provide mild sedation like nitrous oxide for anxious patients.

Post-Root Canal Care

After the procedure, you’ll probably feel a bit sore and there may be some swelling in the immediate area. We recommend an ice pack to reduce the swelling and over-the-counter pain medications like Ibuprofen to ease any pain. You should also avoid biting down hard on the affected tooth until the sensitivity subsides. We can also provide prescription pain relievers to help in the days immediately after the procedure. If your pain is severe and/or lasts for longer than a few days, call us immediately. We may want to bring you in for a quick check-up and make sure there isn’t anything else going on.

Signs You May Need a Root Canal

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your preferred Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry location to schedule an exam and consultation.

  • Severe toothache, especially if onset is sudden
  • Swelling or tenderness in gums near the painful tooth
  • Pain when chewing or when pressure is applied
  • Sensitivity to cold or heat, especially if prolonged
  • Discoloration of the tooth

Our Cary, Porter's Neck and Garner specialty locations have in-house endodontists ready to help relieve your tooth pain. Call the endodontic scheduling coordinator for your preferred location today!

Learn More About Endodontics

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