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Root Canal Therapy – Crystal River, FL

Comprehensive Therapy to Save Your Tooth

Contrary to popular belief, root canal therapy is not a painful or dangerous treatment. Not only is it in many cases the only way to save teeth severely damaged by decay, but it’s a relatively painless procedure from start to finish. The idea that it’s painful largely stems from the infection that’s developed inside the tooth, not the treatment itself. If you have dental pain and aren’t sure what’s causing it, please call Dr. Lisa Schnell and her team today to set up an appointment!

Dentist in Crystal River performing root canal therapy

Do I Need Root Canal Therapy?

Woman with tooth pain visiting a dentist in Crystal River

Decay has a tendency to develop in silence, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any symptoms whatsoever that can indicate you need root canal therapy performed. For example, you’ll want to pay close attention for any of the following:

  • Persistent or chronic discomfort
  • Sensitivity to very hot or cold stimuli that does not go away after exposure
  • Tooth discoloration (typically dark brown, black, gray, or yellow)
  • Swollen gums around the infected tooth
  • Pain while biting down or touching the tooth
  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Loosen or micromovements in teeth

Remember that root canal therapy is performed to treat your chronic pain as well as prevent the need for an extraction, making it the most ideal scenario. Replacing a missing tooth is more complex, time-consuming, and expensive than root canal therapy could ever be.

The Root Canal Process

Diagram showing how root canal therapy in Crystal River works

Dental infections typically develops as a result of broken enamel or a large cavity leaving the center of the tooth exposed to bacteria. This makes it easier for it to reach the sensitive pulp. In order to remove the infection and any decayed tissue, our team will start by administering a local anesthetic to remove all sensations during treatment. If you are receiving sedation, we’ll provide it at this stage as well. Then, we’ll create a small hole in the top of the tooth in order to access the pulp that’s dead or decayed as well as causing pain.

After irrigating the root canal as thoroughly as possible, we’ll place gutta percha, a rubber-like material designed to replace the pulp that was removed and reduce the risk of future infection. From there, we’ll place a temporary crown to cover the tooth until you’re permanent crown is created.

The Benefits of Getting a Root Canal

Patient smiling after root canal therapy in Crystal River

There are many benefits to getting root canal therapy to save teeth. Not only is treatment not nearly as difficult or painful to complete as people say (most patients equate it to receiving a dental filling), but it helps prevent the need for removing the tooth entirely. This is both beneficial to your wallet and your long-term oral health.

Additionally, once the permanent crown is attached, no one but our office will know you even had a root canal performed. Your restored tooth can go on to remain healthy for many years (and even the rest of your life) when practicing proper at-home oral hygiene. This includes brushing twice a day and flossing daily as well as completing routine dental checkups and exams every six months.

Root Canal FAQs

Question marks floating over hands typing on laptop

Is a persistent toothache making you think you may need root canal therapy? If you’re here looking for answers, we can help! Our team has collected some of the most common questions about root canals in Crystal River and answered them below. For even more information or to schedule a consultation, do not hesitate to contact our office.

What Happens If You Wait Too Long for a Root Canal?

If you accidentally get a cut, scrape, or bruise, you can expect your wound to heal in a few days or weeks. However, unlike the rest of the body, teeth cannot heal themselves. This means that if your tooth is infected, it will only get worse without root canal treatment. In fact, waiting too long to get a root canal when you need one could cause the infection to spread to your jaw, gums, other teeth, or even the rest of your body, where it could cause systemic illness. Or in another case, your tooth might become so damaged that it has to be extracted. Sometimes, the pain in the tooth will go away, which might make patients think they no longer need a root canal. However, this often just a sign that the infection has destroyed the tooth’s nerves, making them unable to register pain. The bottom line: do not delay scheduling a root canal as soon as possible after your dentist tells you that you need one.

How Long Do Root Canals Last?

When performed by an experienced dentist in Crystal River, root canals have a remarkably high success rate. In fact, most teeth that have been treated with root canal therapy go on to provide full chewing function for many years. The lifespan of your root canal will depend on various factors, including how damaged the tooth was before treatment. In addition, waiting too long between placing the temporary and permanent crown/filling can leave the tooth vulnerable to reinfection. To help your root canal last as long as possible, be sure to follow Dr. Schnell’s aftercare instructions and practice excellent oral hygiene.

How Much Pain Is Normal After a Root Canal?

The root canal procedure itself should not hurt thanks to dental sedation. However, you may experience some discomfort and soreness for a few days afterward. Over-the-counter pain relievers, like acetaminophen and ibuprofen, should be enough to handle mild pain and sensitivity in most cases. You should also avoid chewing hard, crunchy, or chewy foods during the recovery period, as that could worsen discomfort. Post-root canal pain should start to subside after three days, but if it doesn’t, call our office right away

How Long Does It Take to Recover from a Root Canal?

While everyone recovers at their own pace, many patients are able to return to work or school the day after their root canal in Crystal River. If your job requires physical labor, you may want to schedule your root canal on a Friday so you can use the full weekend to recover. Vigorous exercise can make the healing process take longer by diverting blood from the site. As mentioned above, if you experience pain that worsens instead of fading after about three days (or signs of infection, like fever or swelling), give our office a call immediately.