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What to Expect During and After a Root Canal

Posted by Afshin Vahadi Apr 10, 2021

Root canals have a reputation for causing pain, but the reality is that they are a common dental procedure designed to alleviate the pain and discomfort of an infected, damaged tooth. Root canals save your tooth from a potential extraction. 

Millions of root canals are performed each year, and if you’re scheduled for root canal therapy, you might wonder what to expect during and after your procedure.

Below, Dr. Afshin Vahadi and Dr. Vafa Mirshams of Lone Star Dental Care in Frisco, Texas, highlight the benefits of root canals and what you can expect during yours.

During your root canal

If you’ve had a filling, then you already have an idea of what it’s like to get a root canal. Because a local anesthetic keeps you comfortable, many people liken a root canal to getting a filling. 

Even though the process may feel similar to you, the two procedures target different problems. Fillings treat decay, and root canals treat infected pulp material.

Here’s what will happen during your appointment:

  • You’ll receive a local anesthetic. You might feel a quick pinch. (We use Oraqix® local anesthesia.)
  • The infected pulp material is removed. 
  • The inside of your tooth is cleaned to prevent any bacterial growth.
  • A special cement fills in your tooth.
  • A temporary crown is placed on top of your tooth.

If you need a crown to protect your tooth, you’ll come back to our office for a permanent crown. Crowns cover your tooth, keeping it strong and protected.

After your root canal

Immediately after your root canal, you may feel a little sore, similar to how you might feel after getting a filling. These feelings are temporary and should subside in a day or two. According to the American Association of Endodontists, over-the-counter pain medication might be beneficial after your initial numbing medication wears off.

After your root canal, it’s important to take care of your temporary crown. You can protect your temporary crown by:

  • Refraining from eating hard candies, sticky candy, or hard foods
  • Carefully flossing around the crown to avoid dislodging it
  • Chewing carefully on that side of your mouth

When you return for your second appointment, we’ll make sure your initial infection has cleared and then place your permanent crown.

Benefits of root canal therapy

There’s a reason why millions of root canals are performed: They save teeth! With the infection efficiently removed, you’re no longer at risk of needing a tooth extraction. Your natural teeth (even if they have a crown) are important to your overall oral health. Your natural teeth promote healthy jaw bone, and if you lose a tooth, you’re more at risk of developing jaw bone atrophy. 

The bottom line: Root canals eliminate the pain of an infection while providing an opportunity to preserve your natural tooth.

To learn more about root canal therapy in Frisco, Texas, or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at 972-325-7044. You can also request an appointment online.

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