When a cavity is left untreated for a long period of time it allows the bacteria to extend into the tooth resulting in an infection. This infection can lead to pain, swelling and boneloss around the tooth. In these situations, there are two methods of eliminating the infection either by removing the infected tooth or carry out root canal treatment.
What is Root Canal Treatment?
A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save an infected tooth. The procedure is usually carried out over two or more appointments. At the initial appointment, the nerve and infected material is removed from the inside of the tooth. The inside of the tooth is then dressed with antibiotics to help eliminate any signs of infection. The tooth is then sealed with a temporary filling and left for a minimum of one week depending on the severity of the infection. At the second appointment, the dentist will reassess the tooth before he fills and build up the tooth again.
The tooth will require monitoring regularly by the dentist accompanied by x-rays to ensure healing. If this is the case then the tooth will require a crown to structurally strengthen the tooth and prevent the tooth from fracture.
How Painful is a Root Canal?
Root canal procedures have the reputation of being painful. However, most people report minimal to no discomfort for the procedure itself as there is complete numbness of the area.
For the first few days following the completion of root canal, the tooth may feel sensitive due to natural inflammation especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. The discomfort or sensitivity is usually mild and can be controlled by Ibruprofen or Paracetamol. Most patients can return to their normal activities the next day.