Root canals are used to repair your tooth rather than removing it. When the pulp becomes damaged, it will need to be removed so the tooth can be cleaned and sealed. Your dentist may recommend one if you have:
- A serious tooth infection
- Severe damage or decay
- A deep cavity
- A crack, fracture or tooth injury
- Repeated dental procedures to the same area
As a reminder, if you have mild tooth pain that doesn’t let up soon, it’s good to schedule an appointment with your dentist so they can check it out. If your mouth is significantly sore and tender, it’s best to see your dentist as soon as possible.
Also, any tooth that is chipped, cracked or knocked out could be considered a dental emergency. The reason being is that it could become infected. Even if it doesn’t hurt, the nerve inside could be damaged. Give your dentist’s office a call immediately, to see what the next step should be.
If your dentist determines that you need a root canal treatment, usually, the procedure will take two dental visits. The first visit will prepare your tooth by removing decay and then removing the tooth’s nerve from the inside. After thoroughly cleaning, your dentist will seal the root, place a temporary filling and may possibly build up the tooth in preparation for your next appointment. You will need a follow up visit to remove the temporary filling and replace it with either a crown or regular filling. If a crown is being placed, an impression will be made to ensure the right fit for the crown. As you wait for your next visit, you will want to be aware of your temporary crown and avoid sticky, hard or chewy foods. After your crown is ready, your dentist will cement it into place and make adjustments as needed.
Post Treatment Care
With proper care, a restored tooth can last a lifetime. And dental crowns can last between 5 and 15 years; however, this will depend on dental hygiene practices. To extend the life of your crown, be sure to follow a healthy dental care routine and try to avoid habits like chewing ice, nail biting, using your teeth to open things, excessive teeth grinding or clenching. Some of the most common issues with crowns include loose or chipped crowns, which can usually be avoided.
Need to find a dentist near you? Check our provider search to find one in your area.