What is a root canal treatment:
A root canal is a safe and effective procedure. When a severe infection in a tooth requires endodontic treatment, that treatment is designed to eliminate bacteria from the infected root canal, prevent reinfection of the tooth and save the natural tooth.
Signs & Symptoms for the need of root canal procedures:
- Severe toothache pain upon chewing or due to teeth pressure.
- Prolonged sensitivity/ pain to heat or cold temperatures.
- Discolouration or darkening of tooth.
- Swelling & tenderness in the nearby gums.
- Persistent or recurring sore on the gums.
Common Myths about Root Canals:
*Myth #1- Root canal treatment is painful.
*Myth #2- Root canal treatment causes illness.
*Myth #3- A good alternative to root canal treatment is extraction (pulling the tooth).
Most dental patients accept that they need a root canal without giving it a second thought. Over 41,000 root canals are performed every day in dental offices across the country—that’s 25 million every year. While root canals are standard practice and typically go off without a hitch, it’s important to understand the potential risks.
When you have a root canal, there is always the possibility of infection in the root canal teeth. Once the teeth are infected, the bacteria may travel to other regions in the body. There is a common consensus that sterilizing root canal teeth and instrumenting and irrigating the canal will wipe out all of the bacteria. In reality, most of the time, there is necrotic debris left behind. If a microbiological culture is taken for the surrounding bone, it will almost always show an infection.
While it may sound scary, the presence of bacteria doesn’t necessarily lead to disease. There are a number of factors at play that may contribute to the outcome for any given patient including the type of bacteria, the toxins that it produces, and the state of the immune system for the given patient.
It’s also important to note that the bacteria that stems from root canals may have a negative impact on other diseases. Studies confirm that the bacteria present in root canal teeth and gum disease is often the same bacteria present in blood clots and coronary arteries that lead to heart attacks. The presence of the same bacteria points to direct causation as opposed to correlation between oral infections and cardiovascular disease.
Additional research shows that the oral bacteria can wipe out white blood cells intended to eliminate them, which is why infection may present in close proximity to the root canal site, such as in the jaw bone. The bacteria can also get into the immune system by mimicking naturally occurring bacteria, breaking down antibodies and white blood cells, and creating sticky biofilms.
5 Tips when having Pain After Root Canal Treatment:
#1 Stick to antibiotics prescribed by your dentist. The medication takes atleast 24 to 48 hours after the medication regimen has begun.
#2 For relief from pain, take anti-inflammatory medications that allows reduction of inflammed periodontal fibers.These fibres anchor the tooth to the bone.
#3 Give the tooth that has had a root canal started or completed some time to settle down and become more comfortable. A night guard or relaxation techniques to keep your teeth slightly apart, can contribute to a more comfortable dental state.
#4 Avoid crunchy, hard or tough foods on a recently treated root canal tooth for several days afterwards.
#5 Having a crown made for a root canal treated tooth helps to maintain it, keep it intact, functional, and less likely to develop pain from fracturing.
As with many types of dental procedures, the best way to avoid root canals is eat a healthy diet and practice good oral hygiene. Brush twice daily, floss daily, and base your diet around whole foods, steering clear of sugar and processed carbohydrates. If you must undergo a root canal, talk to your dentist about ozone therapy. Having ozone therapy before a root canal or tooth extraction will wipe out any toxic material and boost the response from your immune system.
Root canal treatment is highly successful; the procedure has more than a 95% success rate. Many teeth fixed with a root canal can last a lifetime. If you are experiencing the pain and discomfort of an infected tooth and you live in the West Des Moines area, call Plaza Dental Group today to get the treatment you need for a better quality of life
Dr. Steffany Mohan is the Owner of Plaza Dental Group and is a leading dentist in Des Moines, Iowa. Dr. Mohan is an expert in implant, family and cosmetic dentistry, is Invisalign certified and has gained a reputation of excellence in the dentistry community. Plaza Dental Group has built a reputation for excellence and its close doctor-patient relationships, which has made them one of the premier offices of Iowa dentists