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Don’t ignore tooth pain. If you have a persistent toothache, schedule an appointment with our emergency dentist as soon as possible. If the source of your pain is an abscessed tooth, our dentist will need to schedule an emergency root canal. If left untreated, an abscessed tooth will need to be extracted.
Continue reading to learn how a root canal can save an abscessed tooth. We’ll also explain how your tooth could have gotten infected.
What is an abscessed tooth?
The tooth pulp is the living tissue inside your tooth that’s responsible for forming dentin and keeping teeth healthy. Once a cavity is deep enough to penetrate tooth pulp, you may feel an ache in the bone around the tooth. Other symptoms of an abscessed tooth include red swollen gums, fever, and having a bad taste in your mouth.
The sooner you call a root canal dentist, the better your chances of saving an abscessed tooth. Ais a sac of pus that forms inside your teeth or gums. If left untreated, a dental abscess can push your tooth upwards until it’s loose enough to fall out. Thankfully, your dentist will be able to perform a root canal before you run the risk of losing teeth.
What damages tooth pulp?
Most people don’t think about tooth pulp until they need to schedulefor a persistent toothache. A tooth infection is more likely after a tooth has undergone multiple dental procedures. For example, you may need a root canal if a tooth was compromised by a large filling or cracks.
Severe tooth decay can also increase your risk of needing root canal treatment, which is why we recommend you see your dentist every 6 months for preventative care. Your dentist will be able to spot small cavities, chips, and cracks during a routine teeth cleaning before they cause major oral health concerns.
What happens during a root canal?
Your dentist will do everything to save your tooth from needing extraction, including root canal therapy. Once your tooth is numbed with local anesthesia, your dentist will drill a small top near the top of the tooth. Through this hole, your dentist will be able to remove the infected dental pulp and clean the inside of the tooth.
For good measure, your dentist will flush the inside of the tooth with water and an antimicrobial solution to make sure any remaining pulp is removed. A temporary filling is then used to seal the hole until your permanent dental crown is ready to be placed. The permanent root canal crown will be placed when you return for your second appointment. If you don’t want to wait, our dentist can create a same-day CEREC crown.
Do root canals hurt?
Root canals have a scary reputation that’s reinforced by their depiction in TV shows and other media. Rest assured, though, that root canals are much less painful than they were in decades past thanks to advances in modern dental technology.
During a root canal procedure, we will numb your mouth so you won’t feel a thing. You may experience some discomfort and swelling after the procedure, but this is normal after dental work and should subside on its own within a week after your appointment.
How do I recover from a root canal?
Recovery from a root canal is similar to recovery from any dental procedure. You can manage any discomfort you experience with over-the-counter painkillers or with medication recommended by our dentist.
If your face appears swollen, you can apply a cold compress to the area. Our dentist will give you detailed aftercare instructions, but the most important things to remember are to take it easy and to keep the area clean.
Ready to Learn More?
Dr. Habecker and his team will do everything in their power to save an abscessed tooth so you can maintain good oral health. To schedule your appointment with our Holland dentist, call Macatawa Smiles at (616) 396-7524.
This blog post has been updated.