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Reclaim Your Smile With S&L Dental

At S&L Dental, we specialize in root canal procedures for patients in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley, AZ. Root canals are necessary when the nerve and pulp inside a tooth become infected or damaged, causing severe pain and discomfort. We use the latest technology and advanced techniques to make sure the procedure is as painless and stress-free as possible. If you’re experiencing tooth pain or discomfort, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help you get back to a healthy, pain-free smile!

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What Is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a dental procedure performed to treat and save a tooth that is severely infected or damaged. Here’s a more detailed explanation:

Inside each tooth is a soft tissue called pulp, which contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues. The pulp plays a vital role during tooth development, but once a tooth is fully matured, it can function without it.

When a tooth becomes infected due to deep decay, cracks, or trauma, the bacteria can invade the pulp, leading to infection and inflammation. This can cause severe pain and discomfort. A root canal procedure addresses this issue and prevents the infection from spreading or causing further damage.

The Root Canal Procedure

The primary goal of a root canal is to remove the infected tissue, alleviate pain, and save the natural tooth. This procedure is preferable to tooth extraction because it allows patients to maintain their natural smile and prevents potential complications associated with missing teeth, such as shifting neighboring teeth and changes in bite alignment. Root canals have a reputation for being painful, but with modern dental techniques and anesthesia, the procedure is generally no more uncomfortable than getting a regular filling. Root canals are a highly effective and common dental treatment that can help patients preserve their oral health and avoid the need for tooth extraction. The root canal procedure involves the following steps:

  • Numbing – The dentist will administer a local anesthetic to numb the affected tooth and the surrounding area, ensuring the patient doesn’t feel any pain during the procedure.
  • Access Opening – The dentist creates a small access opening in the tooth’s crown to reach the pulp chamber and root canals.
  • Pulp Removal – The infected or damaged pulp is carefully removed from the tooth. This step eliminates the source of infection and pain.
  • Cleaning and Shaping – The inside of the tooth and its root canals are cleaned, disinfected, and shaped to prepare them for filling.
  • Filling – After cleaning and shaping, the empty space inside the tooth and root canals is filled with a biocompatible material, usually a rubber-like substance called gutta-percha, to seal the tooth and prevent further infection.
  • Restoration – In many cases, a tooth that has undergone a root canal will need a dental crown to restore its strength and protect it from future damage. The dentist will take impressions to create a custom-fitted crown placed over the treated tooth during a subsequent visit.

Post Root Canal Care

At our family dentistry, we understand that a root canal procedure can be a nerve-wracking experience for some patients. However, with proper post-root canal care, we can help your healing process go as smoothly as possible. You should avoid eating or drinking anything for at least one hour after the treatment. You should also avoid hard, crunchy foods and opt for softer foods such as soup, smoothies, and pudding for a few days. It’s essential to keep the area clean by brushing gently twice a day and using mouthwash.

You may also experience swelling and tenderness, which can be treated with ice packs and warm saltwater rinses. Follow the post-care instructions, and you should be on your way to a smooth and pain-free recovery. Read our testimonials and join our happy customers enjoying post-root canal comfort.

Clarifying Your Root Canal Concerns

  • How long does a root canal take? The duration of a root canal procedure typically depends on the complexity of the tooth and the specific circumstances. On average, a root canal can take 1 to 2 hours. However, it can sometimes extend to multiple appointments if there are complications or the tooth has multiple roots.
  • Root canal before and after: Before a root canal, you may experience significant pain and discomfort due to an infected or damaged tooth. After the procedure, the infected pulp has been removed, and you should expect relief from the pain. The tooth may feel sensitive for several days to a week, but this is usually manageable and should gradually improve.
  • Do root canals hurt? During the root canal procedure, you should not experience pain as the dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the affected area. Some discomfort or pressure may be felt, but it should not be painful. After the procedure, there might be some mild discomfort or sensitivity, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • How long does root canal pain last? Post-procedure discomfort after a root canal can vary from person to person. Any pain or discomfort should typically subside within a few days to a week. Over-the-counter pain relievers and following your dentist’s post-operative care instructions can help manage this discomfort.
  • How long after a root canal can I eat? You can usually eat and drink shortly after a root canal procedure once the numbness from the local anesthesia wears off. It’s a good idea to start with soft foods and avoid chewing on the treated tooth until any post-procedure sensitivity subsides. Your dentist will provide specific instructions on what foods to avoid and when it’s safe to resume your regular diet.
  • How long does it take a root canal to heal? The healing process for a root canal can take several weeks to months. The initial relief from pain and discomfort should occur within a few days to a week. However, complete healing of the tissues surrounding the tooth and the bone can take longer. Following up with your dentist for any recommended follow-up appointments is essential to monitor the healing progress.
  • Do they put you to sleep for a root canal? Root canals are typically performed with local anesthesia, which numbs the affected tooth and the surrounding area. This means you will be awake during the procedure but should not feel pain. In some cases, if a patient has extreme anxiety or requires multiple complex procedures, sedation dentistry options may be available to help them relax, but this is not always necessary for a routine root canal. Your dentist will discuss your options and address any concerns you may have about the procedure.

Root Canal Anxiety? Trust S&L Dental for a Gentle Procedure

At S&L Dental, your oral health and comfort are our top priorities. Our doctors are dedicated to providing you with the highest quality care during every step of your root canal treatment. We understand that root canals can be a source of anxiety for many, but rest assured, our skilled professionals are here to provide a pain-free and successful procedure. If you’re experiencing any dental discomfort or suspect you may need a root canal, don’t hesitate to contact us. Schedule your appointment today, and let us help you maintain a healthy, happy smile for years.

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