Click for link to MYTHS ABOUT ROOT CANALS AND ROOT CANAL PAIN
From the time you call our office for an appointment until your treatment is completed we will strive to exceed your expectations. Our front office staff has expert knowledge to assist you in scheduling your appointment, understanding your insurance and making financial arrangements. Our doctors are highly trained and keep current with new dental materials and techniques. They strive to stay on the cutting edge of proven endodontic treatments. Each dental assistant is also highly skilled and has spent many hours learning how to make you comfortable. They are informed and knowledgeable about the treatments offered in our office. We all work as a team to make your root canal treatment a very positive experience.
You are referred to our office to determine if you have an endodontic problem and to discover what tooth is involved. Your general dentist may send information to us either by mail or with you, that will be part of the diagnostic process. When you check in at the front office you will be given paperwork to complete, bring a list of all the medications you have taken in the last month.
Once you are seated, standardized systematic diagnostic tests and necessary digital x-rays will be taken on the tooth or teeth in question. Your doctor will examine these results, conduct a review of your health history then he will meet you. At that point you will be given the opportunity to restate your chief dental complaint and offer any additional information regarding your current dental problem. An evaluation of the tooth in question, as well as the surrounding teeth and structures, will be made. Once a diagnosis has been reached, your doctor will discuss his findings with you. It is the goal that you fully understand your condition, prognosis, alternative treatment options and likely outcomes of not following recommendations.
Local anesthesia will be delivered in sufficient quantity to render the affected tooth and surrounding area profoundly numb. Sedation, such as nitrous oxide 'laughing gas' may be utilized. Once profoundly numb, the tooth in question is tested to confirm there is no sensation. The tooth is cleaned of caries. The infected or inflamed inner pulp tissue "nerve" is removed, the resulting space is machined smoothed to a specific shape and diameter, then the space is sealed.
A temporary filling is placed to seal the tooth until you return to your general dentist for restoration of the tooth. Instructions on what to expect, how to minimize discomfort. and how to protect your tooth are given to you.
After your treatment
After completion of the treatment, many people do not experience any discomfort. However, it isn't unusual that the tooth may be slightly tender for several days. Avoid eating and chewing on the tooth until all the tenderness is gone. Anti-inflammatory medication is good for controlling this discomfort. Inflammation is the process responsible for causing discomfort after your treatment. The tissue inside your tooth and the bone surrounding your tooth are already inflamed from the disease process. Our treatment may temporarily add to the inflammation already present in the area. If you allow this inflammation to escalate you are more likely to experience discomfort after your appointment. Aleve or Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) are very good anti-inflammatory agents. If begun immediately after treatment using an anti-inflammatory can work very well to prevent or minimize discomfort. If you are allergic to aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) you should not take them.
The tooth opening through which the root canal treatment was performed has been sealed with a temporary filling. It is hard and may last for many weeks, but it is advisable to arrange with your general dentist to have a final restoration placed on the tooth as soon as possible to protect the tooth.
It is normal for a thin layer of this temporary material to wash away. This may feel like a large hole to your tongue. Should the entire temporary filling come out (or if you are in doubt), call our office. Chewing avoidance will lessen the chances of problems with the temporary filling. Don't bite on, chew on, or test the tooth until your permanent restoration has been placed. This will minimize the possibility of discomfort and breakage.
If swelling or severe pain (not controlled by the ibuprofen) should occur, or if you have any questions please call our office.