A root canal is often the best option for preserving a tooth. The procedure is incredibly common, with more than 16 million patients undergoing a root canal each year. Unfortunately, root canals don’t have a great reputation.
Dr. Stephen Hiroshige and his staff work to preserve your oral health and, if possible, your natural teeth. In many instances, a root canal is the best option for preserving the structure of your tooth, while making sure no infection can spread. In this post, we describe some of the encouraging facts about root canals that you may not have heard.
If Dr. Hiroshige has suggested a root canal, there’s a good chance that the inner part of your tooth, the pulp, is infected or somehow damaged. The pulp is made up of nerves, blood vessels, and other soft tissue. Infection can spread and can even damage your jawbone if it’s left untreated.
Your tooth may look fine on the outside — the crown — even if you have a serious infection in the pulp of your tooth. Even if it looks okay, though, you’re probably in pain if you need a root canal.
Only needing local anesthesia rather than the more serious general anesthesia is encouraging for several reasons. For example, general anesthesia carries a greater risk than local anesthesia. It also means you’ll be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.
Additionally, a procedure such as root canal that requires local anesthesia is less painful in general than a more serious procedure that requires general anesthesia.
Most people return to normal activities following a root canal. Your mouth is likely to remain numb for a couple of hours, and you may need an over-the-counter pain reliever for a day or so.
You don’t need weeks or even days to recover from a root canal. By the next day, you should be feeling fairly normal.
After Dr. Hiroshige completes your root canal, he places a temporary filling in your tooth to protect it. He gives you instructions about when to return for a permanent filling or a crown. You should only need one follow-up appointment for the permanent filing and to make sure your recovery is going as it should.
Some 95% of all root canals are successful, meaning the patient doesn’t have any complications and continues to enjoy use of their tooth. Your tooth is protected, the infection is stopped, and your tooth continues to function well for you.
If you still have worries or fears related to having a root canal, we encourage you to call our office or schedule an appointment to discuss your questions. We’re happy to talk about your situation and answer your questions. You can schedule using our convenient online tool, or you can call our office during business hours.