How to Care for Your Tooth After a Root Canal

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woman looking at her teeth

Frequent check-ups are crucial for maintaining dental health and correcting issues before they develop into something serious. With timely intervention, our expert dentists can reverse tooth decay with a cleaning or filling. But if the decay extends beyond the enamel (the outermost layer of the teeth) and infection spreads into the tooth pulp, a root canal may be required.

If you experience any of these symptoms, contact us or visit our Wollaston Dental Group office in Quincy, MA for an effective, personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs.

What is the tooth pulp?

The pulp is composed of various soft tissues located within the tooth. It includes blood vessels, connective tissues, nerves, and odontoblasts, which produce the tough dentin that comprises the bulk of the tooth. The root canals sit below this pulp chamber, and extend down into the roots of the tooth.

If decay is left untreated, it can kill the tooth from within and necessitate a tooth extraction. Or cause other complications, like a dental abscess, a pocket of pus that forms due to infection. Abscesses can form in various locations, including down around the root, where the tooth is attached to the jawbone via the periodontal ligament.

So it’s essential to correct these problems as soon as possible before they cause the loss of a tooth and before the infection can spread elsewhere, such as the jawbone.

How can you tell if you need a root canal?

Numerous signs might indicate that a root canal is necessary:

  • Jaw or tooth pain or discomfort, especially while chewing or biting

  • The appearance of a bump, a pimple, or swelling on the gums around a tooth

  • A discoloration (darkening) or visible decaying of the tooth

  • Temperature sensitivity, especially lingering temperature sensitivity

How a root canal is performed

First, an x-ray provides a clear picture of the infection and damage inside the tooth. Before the root canal begins, an anesthetic or nitrous oxide is administered, and a dam is placed around the tooth to keep it dry.

Then, our expert endodontist will carefully make a small hole at the top of the crown to access the pulp within the tooth. Infected or decayed tissues and structures are removed, and the inside of the tooth and the tooth roots are cleaned and cleared of bacteria. Afterward, the tooth is sealed with a strengthening solution that restores the tooth’s integrity and prevents future infection.

Taking care of your tooth post-root canal

Our team will create a personalized post-root canal treatment plan to provide the utmost care and comfort. It’s also crucial to keep the tooth clean by brushing and flossing as normal. It’s normal for the affected tooth to feel different after the procedure, and it’s important not to place any undue stress on it until it’s fully restored.

Learn more about root canal treatment options

The term “root canal” may induce terror or cause hesitation, but don’t fret. Dental advances have turned this once-fearful appointment into a simple procedure that our experienced professionals handle daily. It’s no more painful than a filling and, globally, it saves millions of teeth every year.

So there’s no reason to put it off. If you’re experiencing any of the previously listed symptoms, or have any concerns about your dental health, contact Wollaston Dental Group today. Or visit our office in Quincy, MA to see how we can save your smile!

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.