Root Canal Therapy – Midwest City, OK
Pain-Relieving, Smile-Restoring Dentistry
Toothache, dental sensitivity, severe soft tissue infection, all of these symptoms may be indicative of the need for a root canal. While these tooth-saving treatments have a bad reputation, at the Midwest City Dental Center, we’re dedicated to changing patients’ minds about every dental treatment – even root canals. Our Midwest City dentist and team perform safe, comfortable root canal therapy to relieve pain, save a damaged tooth, and fully restore oral health. If you want to learn more about root canal therapy in Midwest City or any of our other pain and stress free dentistry services, call the Midwest City Dental Center to schedule an appointment with us today. We look forward to helping you achieve and maintain your healthiest smile.
What is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canals are procedures performed when tooth decay or dental damage reach the innermost layer of the tooth called the pulp. The nerve structures of the tooth that signal pain to the brain run through the pulp tissue and connect with the rest of the body. When tooth decay or damage reach the pulp and nerve tissue, the result is a severe toothache. Root canal therapy allows us to remove and replace this damaged structure and save the tooth.
Do I Need a Root Canal?
During a dental exam and consultation, we’ll evaluate your damaged tooth and help you determine whether or not a root canal is the right option. However, you should call to schedule a treatment consultation if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Severe toothache – can be sharp pain when biting down and/or constant dull throb
- Dental sensitivity – lingering pain when teeth are exposed to hot or cold foods and beverages, especially if you do not typically have sensitive teeth
- Dark coloring – dark spots or lines in a single tooth usually at or near the gum line
- Gum infection – inflamed or infected soft tissue around a single tooth, and any symptoms you may experience due to an infection, including fever, nausea, and fatigue
How is Root Canal Therapy Performed?
Root canals are performed over the course of two or more trips to our dental office. In many cases, the first appointment is an emergency visit scheduled in order to relieve pain. We begin by numbing the area around the tooth. Then, we drill a hole from the top of the tooth into the pulp layer. We remove the damaged pulp and nerve tissue. In some cases, we’ll need to apply an oral and/or topical antibiotic to remove infection before we complete root canal therapy. Once your tooth is free from infection, we refill the tooth with a biocompatible substance and reseal the access hole. In most cases, we also place a dental crown. This strengthens and protects the root canal treated tooth.
What Should I Expect After Root Canal Therapy?
Following root canal treatment, most patients report feeling significant relief from the toothache and dental sensitivity they experienced leading up to their procedure. However, you may experience some swelling or sensitivity as your teeth and gums heal for the first 48 hours after treatment. If you continue to experience pain, sensitivity, or severe inflammation, please call us right away. You may need retreatment to remove additional infection. Once your smile has healed, you can go back to chewing, brushing, and flossing as usual. Your root canal treated tooth will look, feel, and function just like a healthy tooth.
Root Canal FAQs
Learning that you need a root canal to save your tooth can be a surprising moment. However, don’t worry, the team at Midwest City Dental Center is here for you! Our knowledgeable experts have collected some of the most common questions about getting a root canal in Midwest City and answered them below. If you have more questions or concerns, do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kendrick at our office.
Are Root Canals Painful?
Root canal therapy may have a reputation as being painful, but the truth is that modern dental technology and techniques have come a long way. These days, getting a root canal is about as comfortable as getting a cavity filled. Moreover, root canal therapy is actually designed to relieve intense tooth pain by eliminating the infection within a tooth. Before the procedure, Dr. Kendrick will numb your mouth to ensure you’re comfortable from the very beginning.
After your root canal, the area around the tooth might feel sore or sensitive for the next few days. The discomfort should start to fade away after two or three days. During this initial recovery period, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and apply a cold compress to your cheek off and on. If your pain worsens instead of getting better after three days, that could be a sign of a complication. In that scenario, give our office a call right away.
What Happens If You Wait Too Long for a Root Canal?
Unlike the rest of the body, teeth cannot heal themselves. If left untreated, a tooth infection will only get worse with time, not better. That is why it’s so important to schedule a root canal as soon as possible after your dentist in Midwest City tells you that you need one. Even if the tooth pain disappears, that doesn’t mean you can skip root canal therapy. In fact, this often indicates that the infection has destroyed the tooth’s nerves, leaving them unable to register pain. Waiting too long to get a root canal when you need one could allow the infection to spread to the rest of your body, where it could cause systemic illness. The tooth might also become so damaged that it has to be extracted.
Do I Need Antibiotics Before or After My Root Canal?
Dr. Kendrick will go over your medical history with you beforehand to determine whether prescribing antibiotics for you is a good idea. While every case is different, most patients do not need to take antibiotics before or after getting a root canal. However, antibiotics may be prescribed before your root canal if you have a health condition that increases your risk of developing an infection after a major dental procedure.
Can Root Canals Be Prevented?
The best way to prevent the need for a root canal in Midwest City is to take great care of your oral health. You can protect your teeth from infection through daily brushing, flossing, and mouthwash use as well as regular dental checkups and cleanings. To avoid dental trauma, wear a mouthguard when playing sports and a nightguard if you grind your teeth while you sleep. If a tooth is chipped or cracked, bacteria have an easier time accessing the pulp, resulting in the need for another root canal. Finally, you can reduce the amount of harmful bacteria around your teeth by eating lots of nutritious foods, limiting sugar, and drinking plenty of water.