It is normal to experience some tooth pain and discomfort from time to time. But when the symptoms persist, it may be a sign of an infection in one or more teeth. One solution to this problem is getting root canals done. This treatment removes the infected pulp tissue and nerve inside your tooth while leaving the healthy parts intact. Here at Cynthia J Mikula, DDS, Inc. in Bay Village, OH, we offer this dental therapy and can help treat your problem.
How Long Does It Take To Get Root Canals?
Understand What It Is
Root canals, also known as endodontics therapy, are a type of dental therapy used to treat an infected or decayed tooth. The treatment removes the pulp tissue and nerve from your tooth without damaging the healthy parts.
How Long Does the Treatment Take?
The treatment duration of root canals will vary depending on a few factors, such as how many roots need treatment and the severity of infection. That said, treatment typically takes about 30 to 90 minutes, and patients can go home the same day. Below are factors that determine how long the treatment may take:
The Number of Roots Involved
When a tooth has multiple roots, it will take more time to remove the pulp tissue and clean out any infection. Canine and incisors have one root each, while premolars and molars have two or three roots each. Usually, it takes around 45 to 60 minutes to complete a root canal on an incisor and up to 90 minutes or more for a molar.
The Severity of the Infection
If your tooth has a severe infection, you may need to see our dentist more than once. During the first visit, we will anesthetize and clean out the roots of your tooth. If it still needs treatment, another appointment is scheduled to remove any remaining pulp tissue once and for all.
Other Dental Problems
When you have a lot of dental problems, it can take longer to treat everything. We always recommend that you address all your dental concerns before scheduling an appointment for this therapy so that the treatment doesn’t take up too much time. If we find any additional issues during treatment, our dentist will explain them and recommend what you should do next.
Who Needs Root Canals?
You may need this dental therapy if you experience tooth pain or discomfort for an extended period even though your teeth appear healthy and the dentist did not find any problems with them during routine exams. Tooth pain is a common sign of infection in one or more teeth. The infection could spread across your jawbone if left untreated, causing serious health issues like osteomyelitis, which requires immediate hospitalization.
Root canal therapy is safe, but if you have health problems such as heart disease, lung conditions, diabetes, or arthritis, there may be some precautions to be taken beforehand. We recommend consulting with us first so we know whether or not this treatment might affect any existing medical issues you have.
Root Canal Therapy
When you first come to our dental office, we will talk with you about your symptoms and ask any questions that may help us determine what is causing the infection. We then perform a thorough exam of all of your teeth using special equipment so that we can get an even more accurate diagnosis of any problems.
You may opt for sedatives or anesthesia before your treatment so that you remain comfortable and relaxed during the process. We give patients local anesthetics with epinephrine because it numbs their gums and any other areas of discomfort while they’re still awake.
For those who prefer deeper sedation, we use oral medication or intravenous injections to induce sleep during treatment. However, deep sedation is not recommended if dental problems are causing life-threatening infections like osteomyelitis (bone infection), as it could interfere with our treatment efforts.
The treatment process usually involves three steps. These are:
Step 1: Cleaning the Canal
Our dentist first numbs the tooth and surrounding gum tissue, then uses a special dental drill to remove the infected pulp. We use a special sterile solution that cleans out the canal and any remaining pulp tissue.
Step 2: Filling the Canal with Dental Material
After cleaning out all of the diseased pulp from your teeth, we fill up each one with a synthetic material called gutta-percha that helps seal off any openings between roots so that bacteria cannot find their way back into these canals. Once this is done, we place a small rubber plug or post into the drilled opening before sealing everything off using dental cement, which hardens almost immediately.
Step 3: Sealing the Canal with A Crown
Depending on the severity of your problem, this step may or may not be necessary. If there are any gaps between multi-rooted teeth that require filling, then our dentist will place a crown over each one to protect them from future damage and give you back your natural appearance after the treatment is complete.
After the treatment process is over, you will need to take certain steps to ensure that everything heals properly and no further issues arise. Our dentist will provide more information about this part of the process when they discharge you from our office.
That said, there are some general guidelines that everyone should follow after this therapy to keep their teeth healthy and strong. These include flossing your teeth daily and drinking lots of water to wash away cavity-causing bacteria. You may also need to apply a protective barrier over your gums using an anti-bacterial mouthwash or gel each time you clean up.
Why Do Root Canals Usually Take Two Visits?
It’s best to schedule two separate appointments so we can give you a full dental cleaning and remove any hard deposits that may have formed on teeth after the first stage of treatment. The first appointment involves cleaning the teeth and disinfecting them to ensure that they heal properly and without any complications.
The second appointment usually involves a little more cleaning and permanently sealing off the canal with a filling, crown, or any other protective layer so that bacteria cannot get in and cause future problems for you down the road.
Ways to Prevent Teeth Cavities, Infections, and Gum Disease
1. Brushing Your Teeth Routinely
You should always brush after each meal, especially before going to bed. Not only does this help remove any leftover food particles from your mouth, but it also prevents gum disease by removing plaque and tartar that form on teeth over time as you eat.
2. Using Toothpaste That Contains Fluoride
Fluoride strengthens the enamel surface of teeth and helps them resist future cavity-causing bacteria with its anti-bacterial properties. Fluoride paste also protects teeth against any damage that may occur as a result of eating acidic foods or drinking fizzy drinks.
3. Using A Suitable Toothbrush and Replacing it Regularly
Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months. The toothbrush should also have soft bristles so that they do not damage the surface of your gums or enamel as you brush. If possible, look for a toothbrush with a small head so that it is easier to reach all areas of your mouth without having to flex too much to get everything done.
4. Attending Regular Dental Checkups and Cleanings
You should never skip your regular dental appointments. These visits are the best way to ensure that your teeth stay healthy and strong. Going for a dental cleaning once every six months is also a great way to remove tartar from the surface of gums and keep them looking pink, shiny, and beautiful.
5. Avoiding Sugary Drinks and Foods, And Following A Healthy Diet
Finally, it’s important to avoid sugary drinks and foods that can cause cavities. Drinking lots of water is always a good idea since the body needs plenty of fluids for all parts to function properly. You should also include more fresh fruits in your diet instead of canned or processed ones so that you get essential vitamins and minerals regularly.
Get Rid of Your Tooth Pain Today!
Root canals are an essential part of the dental treatment process and something that we highly recommend for all patients who need them. The treatment process may seem scary at first, but it is actually very safe and effective in treating any tooth pain you might be experiencing as well as preventing future problems from occurring. Call us at Cynthia J Mikula, DDS, Inc. in Bay Village, OH, and schedule a consultation to find out if this therapy is right for you.