Root canal therapy may sound a little daunting to some patients — especially if you’re unaware of the details of the procedure. Dr. Lavi will ensure you have a full understanding of what’s to come, and his main goal is your comfort.
Root canal therapy is needed when your tooth gets infected and needs to be removed or there’s a trauma that causes loss of blood to your tooth. The treatment will put an end to pain and restore your oral health.
Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is used as a last line of defense in order to get rid of the infection and save your tooth from extraction. When you have an untreated cavity or crack in your tooth, it often can lead to an infection in your root canal.
A root canal procedure is necessary when bacteria enter the innermost part of your tooth, called the pulp, where nerve endings and blood vessels reside. This typically causes pain and sensitivity in the area. Signs that indicate you may need root canal therapy include:
- Pain in the affected tooth
- Darkening of the affected tooth
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Small bump on the gums near the affected tooth
- Swelling in the gums near the area of tooth pain
You can resolve these problems and comfortably live your life without pain or dietary limitations that stem from the root canal pain. The root canal procedure is pain-free, and t can restore your tooth and oral health.
Eight Steps to Restoring Your Smile with Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy typically takes two appointments, each lasting about 90 minutes. Throughout the procedure, you’ll be communicating with Dr. Lavi so that he can ensure you’re comfortable and don’t feel any pain. Root canal therapy can be completed in eight steps which include:
- During your consultation, Dr. Lavi will examine your oral health and provide you with a customized treatment plan
- Prior to the treatment, your tooth will be numbed so you won’t feel a thing throughout the procedure
- A dental dam is placed over the affected tooth to create a sterile environment to work with
- A small hole is drilled into the tooth so Dr. Lavi can access the infected pulp
- The infection is removed and the area is cleaned
- The canal is filled with a material called gutta-percha
- A filling will then restore the canals access hole — if the tooth won’t support a filling, a post will be placed to added stabilization
- A restoration will be placed on the tooth, usually a crown
To ensure your comfort, we provide dental sedation at your request. This will allow you to feel at ease while we restore your oral health.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should my tooth hurt a week after root canal therapy?
In most cases, sensitivity and discomfort should go away within a few days. If you’re experiencing pain one week after the procedure, be sure to contact our office. Persisting pain may indicate a problem with the procedure that needs to be dealt with in a timely manner to prevent further complications.
Following the aftercare guidelines recommended by Dr. Lavi, will help reduce the risk of complications and ensure a swift recovery.
What is root canal retreatment?
After a root canal procedure, if the root canal is reinfected, retreatment is necessary to remove the infection and restore the tooth. There are several reasons that the initial root canal therapy wasn’t successful including:
- Waiting too long to place the crown
- New tooth decay
- Cracked or fractured tooth
- Advancing gum disease
Though it’s uncommon for a root canal procedure to need retreatment, it’s necessary to address the infection before the tooth is unsalvageable, requiring an extraction. Choosing an experienced and trusted dentist, such as Dr. Lavi, will help ensure that your procedure goes smoothly and the recovery is successful.
How long does root canal therapy take?
Root canal therapy typically takes one to two appointments, each lasting 90 minutes. The length of time depends on your root’s structure and the extent of the infection. During the first appointment, the infected pulp is removed. At your second appointment, the tooth will be cleaned and filled and your restoration will be placed.
For a more accurate time frame, we suggest scheduling a consultation with Dr. Lavi by calling (818) 980-8472 or (213) 623-2212. During the consultation, he’ll review your oral health and provide you with a customized treatment plan that will include a timeline.
How can you tell if a tooth is dead?
If your tooth is dead, the tooth will appear discolored and get darker as the decay worsens. A tooth is considered dead if it’s no longer receiving blood flow or if the nerves are dead or dying.
If you have a dead tooth, early treatment is vital. Seeking treatment immediately will not prevent the spread of infection, but it may help save the tooth.
Are there any aftercare instructions?
Following root canal therapy, you’ll want to be extra careful around the procedural site, especially when brushing and eating. In addition to any recommendations by Dr. Lavi, there are a few instructions you can follow to ensure an excellent recovery. These include:
- Chew away from the procedural site
- Rinse with a warm saline solution 4 to 5 times per day until sutures are removed
- Stick to a soft diet for the first 24 hours
- Take antibiotics and pain medications as directed
- Use a cold compress to decrease and discomfort or swelling
- Continue brushing twice a day, and flossing daily
- Schedule a follow-up appointment