If you’re needing a root canal in Wake Forest, we want you to be informed of what root canal therapy involves, prior to undergoing treatment. Dr. Craig A. Winkelmann and our team believe that when our patients know what to expect, it often relieves the apprehension and anxiety that comes with scheduling what some might call, a seemingly “scary” procedure.
Root canal therapy is one of the most common endodontic procedures performed; millions of patients seek treatment each year, so know that you’re not alone. With modern endodontic treatment, having a root canal is very similar to having a cavity filled.
What Causes the Need for Root Canal Therapy?
Numerous factors can contribute to the causal infection or inflammation that has formed within the tooth. The most common triggers include:
- Deep decay or infection, especially if it’s reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth)
- Recurring dental procedures on a tooth
- A crack or chip in a tooth, crown, or bridge
How Do I Know If I Need a Root Canal?
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, you should make an appointment with us as soon as possible, as inflammation or an infection might be the cause.
- Mild to severe tooth pain that gets worse when you bite down
- Sensitivity to hot or cold
- Tender and swollen gums near the problem area
- Darkening of the tooth
- Swelling or tenderness in the lymph nodes near gum tissue
- An abscess – a small, pimple-like bump on the gums surrounding the problem area
What is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is performed to calm inflammation or infection occurring within the pulp of a tooth within its root. This is done by accessing the root to remove the damaged area, cleaning and disinfecting the contamination, then filling and sealing the tooth.
Typically, a porcelain crown is placed on the tooth after root canal therapy to protect it and restore its full function.
Is Root Canal Treatment Painful?
We typically tell our patients that it’s not the root canal treatment that hurts, it’s the pain you are in when you need one. During your root canal therapy in Wake Forest, your comfort is very important to us. Along with local anesthetic to prevent pain during the procedure, Dr. Winkelmann offers sedation options, if you prefer the most relaxing experience possible.
Root canal sedation options include:
- IV Sedation – With this light IV sedation, you will feel relaxed and asleep, but will still be responsive enough to answer our staff’s questions.
- Nitrous Oxide – This mild sedative will help you feel an overwhelming sense of well-being, to help remove your anxieties and its effects typically subside within minutes after treatment.
- Oral Conscious Sedation – If you’re not a fan of needles or the idea of nitrous, we can prescribe an oral sedative, but please keep in mind that you will need a licensed driver to take you home after your procedure.
How Will I Feel After My Root Canal?
Similar to most endodontic procedures, mild discomfort may occur during and following a root canal. Tylenol or other over-the-counter medications can typically keep the pain at bay. In the days following your root canal therapy, you may also experience subtle sensitivity but it will eventually subside.
Bear in mind, root canal therapy will alleviate the pain of toothaches that pulp infection or inflammation was causing you. Additionally, it will prevent the occurrence of an abscess or the need to remove a tooth entirely.
If you experience any pain lasting more than a few days, you should call us at Wake Forest Dental Arts right away.
Contact Dr. Winkelmann if You’re In Pain
If you’ve been avoiding a dental visit and are experiencing tooth pain, we’d love to help. Use the convenient form below to schedule an appointment today, and we’ll find a relaxing solution that alleviates your discomfort.