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What comes to mind when you think of a root canal? Is it screeching dental drills and patients squirming painfully in their chair?

If it is, you can thank all those old black and white movies for today’s stereotypes about root canals. The truth is that modern dental technologies mean root canal treatment isn’t painful and can be accomplished in few short visits to the dentist.

At Heroes Dental, we know how painful and serious toothaches can be. That’s why it is important that you make an appointment at one of our dental offices throughout the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas to take care of the problem before it’s too late. If the situation requires a root canal, we will work to make it is as painless as possible and help you get your oral health back in order.

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What is a root canal?

A root canal, also known as endodontic therapy, is a dental procedure performed to help repair a severely damaged tooth. What makes root canals essential is that the nerve or pulp of the tooth has become infected and the procedure helps to protect against additional damage.

Without proper treatment of pulp tissue, the infection can spread into the tooth’s roots, surrounding teeth, and cause dental abscesses.

What are some common signs that I may need a root canal?

There are a number of physical and visual cues that you may be in need of a root canal treatment. However, it is important that you allow our qualified dentists at Heroes Dental check your teeth in order to properly identify the issue at hand.

Some common signs that you may need a root canal include:

  • Pain when eating or biting down.
  • Swelling in your gums near the tooth that is hurting you.
  • Noticeable discomfort after eating food that is hot or cold.
  • Persistent pimples or blisters on your gums.

There are some additional visual cues that dentists will notice including:

  • A change in tooth color.
  • Signs of infection.
  • Changes to the surrounding gum.

Your dentist is likely to run a couple of additional test such as an electric pulp test and an x-ray evaluation to ensure they are making the right recommendation.

What should I expect during a root canal?

The overall objective of the root canal is to remove the damaged tooth pulp and disinfect the area so that the infection can be controlled and stopped:

  1. The first step will be to determine exactly what tooth is infected and in need of root canal treatment. This will be accomplished through a consultation with your dentists who will perform an examination and take x-rays to locate the issue.
  2. Once the damaged tooth has been located, your dentist will use local anesthesia to numb the area near the tooth. This will help to keep you more relaxed and make the procedure painless. >
  3. This portion of the procedure is known as a pulpectomy and is when an opening is made in your tooth to reach the pulp. The pulp is then removed, along with any decaying nerve tissue and bacteria. The idea is to clean out all of the troubling debris and diseased tooth pulp.
  4. The opening that has been made is then filled with a compound called gutta-percha and closed with a sealer paste.
  5. Depending on what your dentist suggest, there may be some additional steps taken for restoration of the tooth. This can include dental posts, crowns, or other measures to protect the tooth and keep it strong.

What should you do after a root canal?

Once the root canal has been performed, you need to continue taking care of the tooth get the best outcome, including:

  • Because the tooth structure is changed (and weakened) you will need to take care of the tooth while it heals. Do not chew or place unnecessary stress on the side of the mouth where the root canal was performed.
  • Do not eat hard or crunchy foods that can break the tooth or fall into the fillings before the final restoration takes place.
  • While you need to maintain your oral care routine, you need to be gentle when brushing and flossing the tooth that has been treated.
  • Take over-the-counter medications as needed to relieve the pain.
Take care of your teeth after a root canal by avoiding hard foods #DentalTip Click To Tweet

While a bit of pain may be expected, there should not be substantial discomfort. Contact your dentist immediately in cases of severe or unbearable pain.

If you think you may be in need of a root canal, don’t hesitate. Contact Heroes Dental today.

If you have been experiencing oral pain or any of the mentioned root canal signs, do not wait to book an appointment with Heroes Dental. Your oral health is our number one priority.

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