Scarborough Root Canal Frequently Asked Questions
At Bal Dental Center, we offer root canal therapy and other endodontic treatment thanks to our skilled endodontic specialist, Mahfuzar Rahman, DDS, MS. Dr. Rahman uses his years of education and training to offer patients safe, comfortable, effective root canal therapy and endodontics. If you have questions about root canal therapy or any of the services we provide, contact our Scarborough dental office. We’re here to help. On this page, you’ll find answers to some of our root canal frequently asked questions, but we are happy to discuss your unique situation during a one on one treatment consultation.
Do Root Canals Hurt?
This is the most frequently asked question, but actually these procedures are very comfortable. In truth, most patients feel immediate relief from pain after their root canal procedure because the source of their toothache is removed.
Why Would I Need a Root Canal?
Root canals are necessary when dental decay or damage accesses the tooth’s nerve. The entire nerve system of the tooth is housed within the interior, pulp, layers of teeth. When damage reaches this inner layer accessing the nerve, patients experience the severe toothache and dental sensitivity that earned root canal therapy its bad reputation.
How do I Know I Need a Root Canal?
A trip to the dentist or a dental specialist is the only way to know for sure that you’ll need a root canal. However, the majority of patients need root canal therapy on an emergency basis, so please let us know if you’re experiencing any of the following concerns:
- Toothache – dull throbbing and/or sharp pain when biting down
- Temperature sensitivity – lingering pain when tooth is exposed to heat or cold
- Discoloration – the damaged tooth may darken in color, especially near the gums
- Gum infection or inflammation – you may notice swelling, sores, or infection in the soft tissue around the tooth
What Happens During a Root Canal?
When we determine you need a root canal, we’ll numb the area around the damaged tooth immediately. Then, we drill an access hole from the top of the tooth to the pulp. The entire pulp and nerve are removed as well as any other damaged tooth structure. If you have severe infection, we may prescribe a course of oral or topical antibiotics before we completely repair the smile. Once you are free from infection, the tooth is refilled with a biocompatible substance. Then, the access hole is resealed. Finally, we will typically place a dental crown to protect and strengthen the treated tooth.
How Long Does Root Canal Therapy Take?
The procedure itself can take one to three hours depending on the individual case. If we need to provide antibiotic treatment before we complete the procedure, this can add several days to a week to the overall process. Finally, you may need to return for a second appointment to receive a custom dental crown, even if we don’t need to use antibiotics before completing the root canal itself. These follow up visits are quick and painless. We simply remove the temporary crown and cement your permanent restoration in place.
What Should I Expect After My Root Canal?
After a root canal, you may have some sensitivity and inflammation around the treatment site, but most patients report immediate relief from the severe toothache and sensitivity they experienced prior to treatment. If you notice severe swelling and inflammation around the tooth or your pain increases, contact our office immediately.
Do Root Canals Fail?
Root canals do fail at times. This is very rare for front teeth, which have a 97% root canal success rate. Large back teeth, molars, have a slightly lower success rate of 85%. In most cases, root canals fail because some small portion of the infected tissue is left behind during treatment. We use all the latest technology to limit the risk for root canal failure, but when it does happen, our on-site endodontist provides retreatment that can allow us to save damaged teeth. Because we have an endodontist on our team, your root canal procedures are always performed by a specialist, which dramatically reduces your chances for complications.