A root canal is a dental procedure that focuses on saving a tooth that is severely infected or damaged. During the treatment, an endodontist will use specialized instruments to remove the pulp of a tooth. Then, he or she will clean and shape the canals and apply a temporary filling to the tooth. Although a root canal may sound scary, it isn't painful.
Here are a few reasons you may need a root canal.
Advanced Tooth Decay
Deep decay is one of the most common reasons why people undergo root canals. Many times, decay can be treated with dental fillings. However, if the decay has reached the pulp of a tooth, a root canal is necessary to remove the infection.
Although teeth are generally strong, they can break if they undergo trauma. For example, you may chip or break a tooth during a car accident or when you bite down on something hard. You may experience pain and sensitivity in your tooth afterward. In this situation, your dentist may advise you to get a root canal.
Several Dental Restorations
A single tooth can only handle so many dental restorations. If a tooth has undergone multiple fillings, for example, it can lead to inflammation of the pulp. If this happened to your tooth, a root canal may be the next best step.
How to Recover from a Root Canal
Once you get a root canal, it's important to take good care of yourself to ensure a successful recovery. Here are a few ways to heal from this procedure.
- Rinse with salt water. After a root canal, you have a higher risk of infection. That's why your endodontist will advise you to rinse with salt water a few times a day. It will remove bacteria from your mouth and help you avoid an infection.
- Elevate your head. To minimize swelling, keep your head elevated as you rest.
- Eat soft foods. Your mouth will be quite tender after a root canal procedure. Focus on eating soft foods, like soup, mashed potatoes, and pasta, for the first few days.
- Get plenty of rest. Although a root canal may not seem like a major procedure, your body still experienced some trauma. Therefore, you should avoid strenuous activities for several days and get plenty of sleep at night.
If you require a root canal treatment, you should schedule an appointment with an endodontist today.