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Root Canal Treatment: 7 Frequently Asked Questions Answered


article by Raha Sepehrara

Severe toothache can cause you to miss meals and sleep. Alongside the physical problems, toothache often brings on anxiety. Your mind may be working overtime, asking questions like, “What if my toothache is serious?” “Do I need a root canal?”

If you’re worried about needing a root canal treatment, we’re here to help. The complexity and all-round scariness of the procedure are often exaggerated. 

Much of the distress about coming for a root canal treatment comes from the unknown. If you know more about what to expect, it can eliminate anxiety. 

To help you understand root canal treatments better, we’ve answered the seven most frequently asked questions on the topic. 

1. Why Do I Need a Root Canal Treatment?

If you’ve been told you need a root canal treatment, it’s because you have an infection inside your tooth. You may have experienced severe toothache and swelling around the tooth and on the side of your mouth. Your tooth may have changed colour, and you might have a bad taste in your mouth. 

Infections occur when bacteria get inside your tooth through a cavity or crack. When the living tissue within your tooth becomes infected, it causes inflammation. This pushes against the nerve endings, causing considerable pain. 

An infection will go right down into the root canals, which anchor the tooth to your jaw. A root canal treatment removes the infection and stabilises the tooth of bacteria. 

2. Are Root Canal Treatments Painful?

It’s a commonly held misconception that root canal treatments are painful. You will be in pain before your treatment, and this routine procedure will quickly elevate the discomfort. 

In terms of your comfort during the procedure, we’ll give you an anaesthetic so you won’t feel anything. Let us know if you feel anxious about your treatment or have a dental phobia. 

Although we’re always mindful of how everyone feels while receiving care, there are steps we can take to make you more relaxed. For instance, sedation may be an option. 

3. What Happens If I Don’t Get a Root Canal Treatment?

Dental infections will not go away without treatment. Although you may eventually reach a point where your pain subsides, this usually indicates that the tooth is necrotic and the infection will soon spread. 

Untreated root canal infections lead to abscesses forming below your gums. These are painful pockets of pus. Your infection can also spread within your mouth, causing the loss of teeth. If it enters your bloodstream, the infection can also take hold in your organs. 

4. Are There Any Other Treatment Options?

Root canal treatment is the best option for saving your tooth and preventing the spread of infection. Although you may think extraction is a quick option, it is never the best solution as it opens up future risks for your oral health. We will always work to save your tooth. 

5. What Happens During a Root Canal Treatment?

We’ll take X-rays of your infected tooth to fully understand what’s happening below the surface. This information will guide us while we remove the infected matter from your tooth. 

To begin, you’ll receive a dose of local anaesthetic. This maximises your comfort levels. We’ll then enter your tooth through a small hole and carefully remove all of the infection while cleaning the inside of your tooth. 

A material known as gutta-percha is then used. This fills the inside of your tooth. Finally, we close to the tooth with a filling. We may recommend having a custom-made crown fitted at a later date. This will protect a compromised tooth and prevent further infection. 

6. How Long Does It Take to Recover After a Root Canal?

The anaesthetic can take a short time to wear off after your treatment. Avoid hot drinks and all food during this time. Once the anaesthetic has worn off, your toothache should have gone. However, you may still experience some tenderness or sensitivity for a while. 

Keep your mouth clean following treatment. Rinse your mouth often to remove debris and prevent issues around the treatment site. 

7. How Can I Avoid Needing Treatment In Future?

Root canal infections often occur when you have a cavity or damage to a tooth. Visiting us for routine checkups will help us spot the early warning signs of dental problems. If we know an issue is building up, we can often avert it without treatment. 

Maintain a healthy dental hygiene routine. Brush twice daily, floss, and use mouthwash. Avoid sugary foods and drinks, and quit smoking if you’re a smoker. Making appointments with our hygienist will also help you maintain your teeth. 

Root Canal Treatment in Nottingham

A root canal treatment is a highly effective routine procedure to eliminate dental infections and all of the associated symptoms. If you’re experiencing toothache, don’t put off getting in touch. 

Contact us today to book your appointment.

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