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Tooth Pain: When Can a Root Canal Help?

Root canals are more common than you’d think, as 15 million of them are performed every year. But don’t fear; they’re also less painful and dreadful than you’ve been led to believe. 

The truth is that root canals are similar to getting a filling, with about the same amount of pain and discomfort. And, root canals can actually save you from a lot of pain by preserving your tooth and removing the damaged pulp inside.  

Our team at Brightwork Family Dentistry, located in Richmond, Virginia, is here to help you with all of your general, pediatric, and cosmetic dental needs. That’s why we’ve compiled this helpful guide so you can learn how a root canal can relieve your tooth pain and help to preserve your smile. 

Knowing when you need a root canal

There are some signs to look out for, including:

The most common indicator that you need a root canal is the severe and oftentimes acute pain. So, you should certainly come in for an appointment any time you’re experiencing severe tooth pain. Luckily, we usually catch these signs early during your regular dental appointments, every six months. 

What to expect with your root canal

Just as with a regular tooth filling, we use a topical anesthetic on your teeth or a numbing injection to ensure that you experience as little pain and discomfort as possible during your root canal. After you’re fully numb, a small hole is created in your tooth.

We then carefully remove all of the damaged pulp and tissue through the hole. Next, we make sure that the inside of your tooth is completely free of bacteria and damaged material. 

We then fill the hole and seal your tooth completely to prevent it from becoming damaged further while preserving the remaining healthy tissue. If the damage to your tooth is especially severe, you may need to have a covering like a dental crown to add even more protection.  

A root canal takes about 90 minutes on average, so you won’t be in the chair for very long. You can go home as soon as the procedure is over since there are no drowsy gasses or medications required for the procedure. After your anesthesia wears off you may need pain relievers, which we can prescribe. 

If you’re experiencing tooth pain, don’t wait for your tooth decay to get worse. The earlier you have a root canal the more of your tooth we can preserve. To schedule an appointment at Brightwork Family Dentistry, call the office or book online.

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