Everyone at Aspros, Boyd & Walther Dental Associates truly hopes that you never have a toothache in Tallahassee. Reminder: a good way to avoid dental trouble like a toothache is by sticking to a schedule of dental checkups twice each year! However, if you or a loved one ever does have serious tooth pain, then you need to come see your Tallahassee dentist right away. Although pain is never pleasant, it is often the body’s way of letting you know that something is wrong. In the case of a toothache, you may have an infected tooth, making a root canal necessary.
As we already mentioned, the primary symptom of an infected tooth is usually pain. As the infection takes up space inside your tooth, there is inflammation, which is typically very painful.
Other signs of an infected tooth include:
Sometimes, however, there aren’t any symptoms, which is why regular checkups are so important. The dentist will be able to see the infection on an X-ray even if you’re not having any other symptoms.
After the dentist anesthetizes the tooth and surrounding soft tissue, the interior pulp chamber and root canals are accessed through a small hole. The infected part of the tooth is removed using special files and dental instruments. Then, the space is disinfected and filled with gutta-percha, which is an inert substance that expands to fill the chamber and root canals. This supports the remaining tooth structure and prevents recontamination. Finally, the tooth is sealed and prepared for a porcelain crown that will protect your tooth.
Your tooth may be sensitive for a few days after root canal treatment. We recommend eating softer foods for the first day or two, and as you add solids try to chew on the other side of your mouth.
If necessary, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Take these as instructed along with the prescription for an antibiotic the doctor may have order to ensure that the infection is completely gone.
A few weeks after your root canal, you’ll return to our office to have a permanent crown placed over the tooth. Made of porcelain, this crown restores your ability to chew and bite normally and will preserve the remaining tooth.