A root canal, or non-surgical endodontic therapy, may be recommended for a tooth that has been damaged by deep decay, a large filling, fracture or trauma due to a direct physical impact or heavy bite. Regardless of the initial cause, the nerve of the tooth becomes infected or abscessed, causing pressure and pain. In some teeth, deterioration and death of the pulp happens gradually so little discomfort is felt. In either case, root canal therapy is required to remove the infected nerve tissue, relieve pain and ultimately save the tooth.
Root canal therapy usually requires multiple visits to Smile Center Orlando. Initially it is important to remove the decay or old filling and access the nerve chamber to clean out the infected pulp tissue. Medicine to treat the infected areas is placed in the tooth and it is temporarily sealed for immediate pain relief. Antibiotics are prescribed to help control the infection. Once the tooth is free of infection, special instruments are used to remove all of the nerve tissue and to properly clean and shape the canals. The canals are then sealed to prevent bacteria from reentering the tooth. In this way, root canal therapy is completed with minimal discomfort to the patient.
A tooth that has undergone root canal therapy becomes brittle over time. Therefore, a crown is recommended to protect the tooth from further fracture. At the Smile Center Orlando, we take every step possible to avoid extraction of a tooth, and root canal therapy is an excellent option to relieve pain and infection, and save your natural tooth.
Care after a Root Canal
The post-operative instructions following root canal treatment should be taken as seriously as any other non-surgical procedure.
It is normal to experience soreness in the mouth and jaw for a day or two following a root canal. A prescription for pain medication is usually given after your root canal to relieve discomfort. Antibiotics may be prescribed as well to fight any residual infection.
Eat soft foods for the next few days after treatment. Also, remember that the tooth will be very brittle and prone to fracture until a crown is placed.