How long does a root canal take?
Typically, a root canal takes 30 to 90 minutes to complete, depending on what tooth is being treated and the extent of the infection. The procedure can be performed over one or two sittings, and based on the complete course of treatment needed, may require a sitting before and after the actual root canal therapy.
Does that mean enduring an hour and a half of excruciating nerve pain?
Before you run for the cover, let’s clarify a very important fact. The infected tooth and gums and all the soft tissue surrounding it is anaesthetized before the procedure.
So, barring a small jab at the very beginning, you won’t feel a thing during or after the actual procedure. In fact, root canal therapy is the most effective way to deal with chronic pain that an infected tooth causes.
When should you see your doctor for a root canal?
A root canal is needed to treat severe tooth infection. Think of this as tooth decay gone truly bad. At this point, the infection has spread not just through the hard part of the tooth but has managed to get to the pulp.
This is the soft portion deep inside your tooth that houses the nerve. So, the need for root canal therapy is usually preceded by symptoms such as:
- Intense pain when chewing and eating.
- Pain when sleeping on the same side as the infected tooth.
- Visible damage to the tooth, such as chip or crack.
- Visible inflammation and soreness or tenderness of the gums.
- Signs of deep decay of the tooth and the gums (appearance of dark discoloration).
- Appearance of blisters/pimples on the gums around the affected tooth.
- Swelling of the jaw and cheek on the side of the infected tooth.
- Foul smell in the mouth.
- Foul taste.
- Sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages.
So, if you have any of the symptoms above, even if it is just throbbing paint that you are trying to control through OTC painkiller, it is imperative to see a dentist at the earliest. Most OTC painkillers do not work on dental pain, not to mention the horrific side effects of their chronic and unsupervised use.
Why should you get a root canal procedure done?
- For starters, it provides almost immediate relief from the pain. Even when the effects of the local anesthesia wear off, there is barely any tenderness/soreness to deal with.
- Plus, once the root canal procedure is done, you have greater chances of holding on to the affected tooth as the dentist will take appropriate measures to preserve its integrity.
- On the other hand, putting off the procedure will not just increase the risk of widespread infection but will also eventually lead to the visible and decayed parts of the tooth crumbling away. At that point, extraction will be your only option.
- This procedure also stops the infection from spreading to the neighboring teeth and the jawbone.
- Finally, let’s not forget that once you get the root canal procedure done, you will be able to eat your food without the fear of pain.
Need a root canal dentist in Beverly, MA?
Our Beverly MA dentist offers cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, surgical dentistry including pain-free root canal treatments. If you need to get a root canal done or think you might need one, we invite you to call (978) 922-4200 to schedule your appointment. You can request an appointment online.