When a toothache strikes, it’s typically a sign of advanced decay that has traveled to the sensitive pulp area. In situations like these, root canal therapy is the most recommended treatment option. What if the tooth stops hurting, though? Is it still necessary to undergo a root canal? As you continue reading, a local dentist tackles these questions to put an end to any confusion.
The Purpose of a Root Canal
Once bacteria make their way to the pulp area, a filling won’t suffice to repair a tooth. The root canal procedure allows the dentist to do the following:
- To get to the core of the tooth to remove the infection
- To thoroughly clean the area
- To add a protective filling called gutta-percha
- To seal the tooth and restore it with a crown
What if the Tooth Stops Hurting?
Usually, a toothache is what gets the treatment process started, as the patient seeks relief from the throbbing sensation. In some situations, the initial pain will subside, but this should not be misconstrued as a resolved issue. In fact, a toothache that goes away can be a sign of an even bigger problem.
It could be an indication of nerve damage. Although there may be some temporary pain relief, the bacteria won’t stop traveling. They can eventually enter the jawbone and cause the tooth or teeth to loosen. If ignored even longer, the infection can spread throughout the body.
Play It Safe
To prevent a challenging issue becoming even worse, don’t take a toothache lightly. The moment you feel pain, you should reach out to a dentist to schedule a visit. While you wait to be seen, you can apply ice to the outside of the jaw to reduce any swelling and take ibuprofen to calm the pain sensations. You can also rinse your mouth with a salt-water solution to rid the area of bacteria.
Are You Apprehensive About Receiving a Root Canal?
Fortunately, you have nothing to worry about when it comes to receiving root canal therapy. You don’t have to endure excruciating pain. In fact, 95% of people who undergo the procedure experience little to mild discomfort. If you still feel anxious about undergoing a root canal, most dentists will offer sedation dentistry to calm your nerves and ensure a relaxed and pleasant experience.
Ultimately, root canal therapy provides a way to overcome your toothache, address the encroaching decay and restore your oral health to normal. By seeking the help you need, you can put an end to your pain and get back to leading a normal life!
About the Author
A graduate of the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, Dr. Stephen Remmers has nearly 30 years of experience practicing dentistry. He continues to stay abreast of the latest changes in dentistry by maintaining professional affiliation with the Kentucky Dental Association, Louisville Dental Society and other professional organizations. Dr. Remmers performs root canal therapy at Remmers Dental. He can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through his website.