If you’re experiencing persistent pain in the area surrounding a single tooth, you may need a root canal—one of the scariest phrases a dentist can utter. Despite the negative connotations associated with root canals, however, they’re actually one of the best ways to relieve pain and swelling inside the mouth caused by cavities and bacteria. Without treatment, loss of the tooth is likely, as tooth decay reaching the pulp tissue inside the tooth causes infection. When the root canal is treated, the pulp of the tooth is removed and all the canals and pulp chamber of the tooth are filled and sealed to prevent bacteria from entering.

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Is a root canal considered surgery?

Root canal therapy involves drilling a small hole in the top of the tooth, which allows the dentist to clear out the infected pulp inside the tooth and restore it. Oral surgery involves making an incision in the gums, which is not part of a root canal treatment. Root canals tend to be very effective, but when they fail, sometimes oral surgery is required to reach the root of the tooth and cure the infection. It’s important to schedule restorative treatments with experienced dentists like Dr. David who have the expertise and patience necessary to perform successful root canals.

What do I need to do after a root canal?

The best thing to do after a root canal is to try and take it easy and avoid putting stress on the affected tooth. You will want to make sure that you are eating soft foods like oatmeal, meatloaf, soup, yogurt, mashed potatoes, or scrambled eggs and refrain from eating anything too hard, crunchy, or sticky for a few days. It’s also a good idea to chew with the other side of the mouth if possible. Continuing a thorough oral hygiene routine during this time is a good idea, and you are allowed to brush and floss around the tooth like you normally would.

Are root canals painful?

Contrary to popular belief, root canals are a painless procedure and tend to be a similar experience to having a cavity filled. For most root canal appointments, the most painful part of the treatment is having the local anesthetic injected into the gums, but you won’t even have to feel the sharp pinch of a gum injection at our practice. Dental Wellness Phoenixville utilizes needle-free anesthesia and high-strength numbing gels to keep your root canal procedure completely pain-free. You may feel some soreness after the numbness wears off, but it can usually be relieved with over-the-counter pain medication or an ice pack.