96% of Canadians have had cavities. While dentists fill cavities to save the tooth, sometimes the cavity or tooth decay is so severe that you may need a root canal.
If your dentist has told you that you need a root canal, you might have a lot of questions, such as: what is a root canal and how it helps tooth decay? How long does a root canal procedure take, and what can you expect afterward?
In this article, you'll learn more about root canal treatment and what you can expect.
What is A Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure that removes decay from the root of the infected tooth. Decay may surface from any number of dental problems like cavities or even damage to your tooth. Infections often travel to the pulp and nerve of your tooth, causing much pain.
During a root canal, the dentist scrapes away the infection from the pulp of your tooth to prevent further dental issues.
How Long Does A Root Canal Procedure Take?
The length of time a root canal takes depends on how severe the damage is to the tooth. Generally, a root canal may take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes.
The process of getting a root canal begins with the dentist prepping the tooth and administering a local anesthetic, so you're comfortable. The dentist discusses your options for an anesthetic before the procedure.
After administering the anesthetic, the dentist creates a space at the top of your tooth to remove the infection and clean out your tooth. Once that's finished, the dentist inspects to ensure that all the inflammation and infection are gone.
To protect the tooth, the dentist places a crown over the damaged tooth to preserve it and block additional bacteria. The crown adheres to your other tooth, and this may take some additional time.
The entire process should only require one trip to the dentist's office. However, you may need to return to the office if the dentist cannot complete the procedure in one visit. Your dentist may advise you not to drive post-anesthesia.
Recovering From A Root Canal
You can recover from a root canal at home in a few days. After the anesthesia wears off, you'll likely feel some discomfort. Your dentist may advise you to take over-the-counter pain medication to manage the pain for the first few days.
It may take a few weeks to start feeling normal and the pain to subside completely. During this time, you should stick to soft foods or chew on the other side of your mouth.
If you start to notice any bleeding, or soreness that doesn't go away with time or medication, inflammation, redness, or any discomfort with your root canal, contact your dentist.
Do You Need A Root Canal?
So how long does a root canal procedure take? It depends on the severity of your infection and the healing process. Overall, root canals are safe and effective, and you can expect to be back to normal in a short amount of time.
Are you suffering from tooth pain? Contact Linwell Park Dental Centre today to schedule your appointment.