Quality Dental Care of Lakeland
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Close up of patients smile getting root canal treatment in Lakeland, FL

What Is a Root Canal?

May 17, 2022
Posted By: Quality Dental Care
Man at dentist for root canal in Lakeland, FL

For many people, “root canal” is a dreaded term. They associate it with a complex or painful dental procedure. The good news is that root canal therapy in Lakeland, FL, is a straightforward and gentle treatment that prevents or eliminates pain. This therapy can also save a tooth facing fracture or extraction.

Reasons Your Dentist Recommends a Root Canal in Lakeland, FL

If you need a root canal, it’s because you have infection and inflammation at the root or center canal of a tooth. Without treatment, the pain worsens, and swelling increases, putting the infected tooth at serious risk for crumbling or extraction.

Remember, infections can spread, so timely treatment is always the best course.

Signs You Need a Root Canal

If a tooth canal infection is emergent or the nerve center is not conductive, you may not experience pain. Instead, your dentist finds the infection during your routine checkup in our dental office.

More common symptoms include:

  • Tooth sensitivity that worsens
  • Tooth pain that can be excruciating
  • Gum swelling with a distinct blister or bump

When you have symptoms, it’s crucial to call our dental office at (863) 858-3891 for an emergency dental visit. At this appointment, we work on diagnosing your symptoms and easing your pain as soon as possible.

How Long Does a Root Canal Take?

After your dentist has diagnosed your root infection, we start treatment immediately. The first step is thoroughly numbing the tissue and gum around the tooth. Once the anesthesia takes hold, your dentist extracts the inflamed pulp from the tooth’s canal. Afterward, we wash the channel to promote healing and seal it temporarily with a transitory filling.

Patients report feeling better immediately following treatment. However, it’s normal to experience mild soreness at the treatment site, usually for a day or two, but nothing like the pain felt when the tooth was infected! This initial visit can take up to an hour, depending on the complexity of your case. 

After a week or two, you return to Quality Dental Care of Lakeland for a permanent restoration—usually a dental crown or tooth-colored filling.

We use a tooth-colored filling if the infection is minor and the tooth remains stable. However, capping the tooth with a dental crown is more common.

Most of the time, a root canal and crown go hand and hand because the tooth requires the support of a solid restoration for function and stability. A dental crown is a custom tooth-shaped cover that protects your treated tooth.

Root Canal Recovery

After removing the infected tooth pulp, followed by a temporary filling, you may experience slight soreness for a few days, but this is easily treatable with over-the-counter pain relievers.

Your dentist will also provide instructions about what not to do following treatment. For example, you shouldn’t eat or drink hot foods until the anesthesia wears off. Otherwise, you risk oral tissue burns.

Lowering Your Risk for Infection

A simplistic explanation of the anatomy of teeth means an outer layer of enamel, an inner layer, and a center housing the pulp and nerves. Therefore, when you have an area of decay, an injury, or trauma, it’s crucial to see the dentist in order to avoid decay or infection spreading to the tooth’s root or center.

Other tips for avoiding root infections include:

  • Diagram of tooth structure at dentist near me Lakeland, FLBrushing and flossing your teeth at least twice daily
  • Visiting your dentist twice yearly for exams and teeth cleanings
  • Wearing face gear and mouthguards when playing contact or ball-oriented sports
  • Talk to your dentist if you develop nocturnal tooth grinding and clenching (bruxism)

Brushing your teeth lowers your risk for tooth decay and, as a result, your risk for tooth infections. And your teeth cleanings clear away the debris that leads to cavities, infections, and gum disease.

Sports injuries to the mouth can also lead to infections, especially if the tooth root is affected. And bruxism wears down tooth enamel, leaving the inner workings vulnerable to inflammation.

Call Our Dentist for Gentle Endodontics in Lakeland, FL

We treat root canals swiftly and painlessly, so you can get back to enjoying your time. If you suspect a root infection or have had other oral health changes since your last visit, we encourage you to contact our dental office today.

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