Honestly, root canals get a really bad rap! But they shouldn’t—a root canal actually relieves the pain caused by an infected tooth. More specifically, it helps a tooth with a nerve that is inflamed due to a deep cavity/filling or crack. This inflamed nerve may be extremely sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, causing extreme pain. Also, a root canal helps a tooth with a dead nerve. All inflamed nerves eventually die, possibly causing an abscess. With a dead nerve, your tooth can’t feel hot or cold, but is very tender to touching or chewing. It also tends to throb spontaneously at night.
If a root canal can save the tooth, it is the best option. A fixed or removable bridge or implant is a more expensive alternative to replace a tooth.
What to expect after a root canal
After having a root canal, you can expect approximately two to four days of mild to moderate sensitivity to biting pressure. Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen should take care of any discomfort. If it doesn’t, notify Dr. Wright, as she may need to treat a different issue. You shouldn’t experience any additional swelling. If you do, contact Dr. Wright.