Even though root canals have a horrible (and untrue) reputation for being painful, they’re actually designed to quickly and effectively relieve pain, not cause it! In fact, they’re often the last option to save a horribly infected tooth from being extracted and incurring the complications of tooth loss. At North York Dental, we’re proud to offer fast, effective care for hurting teeth with gentle root canal therapy in North York. If you have an infected tooth that needs to be treated, we can quickly relieve its pain, stop infection in its tracks, and prevent future issues with this common tooth-saving procedure. To learn more about root canal therapy, keep reading or give us a call today.
Do I Need Root Canal Therapy?
The hard white shell around your teeth is called enamel. Underneath the enamel, your tooth has pulpy and soft matter. Inside this pulp is a collection of nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels. Unfortunately, the pulp can get infected in a variety of ways, often caused by a crack, chip in your tooth, or deep cavity. Should this happen, the infection can cause a tremendous amount of pain and begin to attack the connective tissues that hold your tooth in place, and it may even spread to the surrounding teeth. That’s why it’s important to have your tooth treated with root canal therapy right away if you notice symptoms like:
- A sharp, stabbing pain in your teeth when biting down
- Lingering tooth sensitivity that lasts for 30 seconds or more
- A single tooth becoming dark or numb
- A small, pimple-like bump on the gums
- Discharge between the teeth
The Root Canal Process
Root canal treatment at our dental clinic is fairly straightforward. Your North York dentist will administer a reliable anesthetic to numb your mouth and ensure you are comfortable throughout the procedure. Once it has taken full effect, the next step will be to remove infected tissue from inside your tooth. We’ll make a small hole in your enamel and use specialized tools to remove all the decayed pulp from inside. Then, we’ll sanitize the area to ensure absolutely no bacteria was left behind. Then the hollowed-out tooth is filled with biocompatible material and the access hole is filled with composite resin. In most cases, we’ll also place a custom dental crown to keep your newly repaired tooth strong and healthy.
The Benefits of Getting a Root Canal
Root canal therapy has a notorious reputation that is founded on largely untrue rumors and myths. In fact, this tooth-saving procedure offers lots of benefits that will dramatically improve your quality of life! Such as:
- Regained ability to chew, eat, and go about your life without dental pain
- Lasting results that can protect your smile from future damage and infection
- Beautiful dental crowns that will seamlessly restore maximum function
- Effectively treat infection and keep it from spreading to nearby teeth
- Avoid all the complications and expenses that come with having a tooth extracted
Root Canal FAQs
Our team here at North York Dental knows that you might have some initial questions about root canals that you’d like answered before you’re ready to commit to the procedure. Although it might seem like it’s a complicated process, it’s actually a rather straightforward treatment that’s meant to alleviate discomfort and provide a compromised tooth with the help it needs. Below we’ve gathered some of the most commonly asked questions that we receive about root canals in North York; of course, if you have any other questions about the procedure, don’t hesitate to give us a call for assistance.
Are Root Canals Painful?
Believe it or not, a root canal isn’t nearly as painful as they’re made out to be. In fact, most patients compare it to receiving a dental filling. However, it’s worth noting that some soreness in the days following a root canal is normal; after all, your body needs to heal! To ease this discomfort, you can place a cold compress against the outside of your cheek or take over-the-counter pain relievers. If your symptoms don’t diminish after a few days, don’t hesitate to contact us—this might be a sign of a complication that needs to be looked at.
How Long Does a Root Canal Take?
In most cases, a root canal can be completed in one single appointment—anywhere from half an hour to roughly two hours. The length of the process depends on factors like the location and type of tooth that’s being treated. Since molars (back teeth) have more roots than front teeth, they have more root canals that must be disinfected, which necessitates a longer process.
Do I Still Need a Root Canal If My Toothache Disappeared?
Even though your toothache disappearing might seem like a reason to celebrate, it isn’t necessarily a good sign and doesn’t mean you’re out of the clear—and a root canal might still be necessary. In fact, this is often the result of the infection essentially “killing” the nerve of the tooth, which results in diminished pain. In these instances, root canal therapy is usually the absolute best way to salvage and restore the tooth and prevent the infection from spreading.
Can Root Canals Be Prevented?
You might be thinking by now that a root canal, despite its usefulness, is still something you should try to avoid if possible. Fortunately, root canals can be prevented, but it’s a matter of keeping your teeth adequately healthy and free of decay. This means that brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting us for regular preventive care are among the best practices for preventing the need for a root canal in the first place! Other things to keep in mind include reducing your intake of sugar, avoiding unhealthy oral habits like smoking, and using a mouthguard when playing sports.