6 Questions to Ask Your Root Canal Dentist in Washington, DC
When the pulp, the soft tissue located inside the root canal, develops an infection or inflammation, root canal therapy is required. You may keep your natural smile, eat the foods you enjoy, and limit the need for ongoing dental care with endodontic therapy. Dr. Ali Manesh, DMD, and Dr. Moein Darjani, DDS, at Ideal Endodontics, provide qualified root canal dentists in Washington, DC. Please contact us for more information or book an appointment online.
Table of Contents:
1. What is a Root Canal?
2. Is a Root Canal painful?
3. Will I be sedated during a Root Canal?
4. Will I be prescribed any medications after my root canal?
5. What sort of aftercare is associated with a root canal?
6. How much downtime should I expect after a root canal?
Root canals are often used in a negative connotation in everyday conversation. “I need that like I need a root canal,” is a common phrase. While no one wants one of these procedures, it is likely at some point you will have to receive one. It is one of the most common dental problems seen in the United States. While you may assume they are complicated and painful, today’s root canals are far from it. Don’t let movie depictions of root canals, often for comedic effect, let you shy away from this important procedure.
Here are six questions you should ask our dentist when you visit Ideal Endodontics before receiving a root canal.
Sure, you’ve heard of a root canal before, but do you know what is involved with this procedure? Most people do not. So, your first question should be, “What exactly is a root canal.” A root canal is a dental procedure where our dentists have recommended the removal of the pulp part of a tooth to repair a decaying or infected tooth.
The movies would tell you that a root canal is one of the most painful procedures you can experience. This misunderstanding often pushes people to avoid dental care and root canals altogether. But the truth will put you at ease! Many patients will only experience mild discomfort or pain during their root canal at our practice. Like with other dental work, the area will be tender, and you may feel some pain afterward. However, this can usually be treated with over-the-counter pain medications.
At our clinic, we use conscious sedation during our root canals. This means we’ll use Novocain or another topical anesthetic to numb the area around your tooth. You will be completely awake during the procedure and will only feel mild discomfort or pain. Being awake allows us to check in with you to make sure you are doing okay during the procedure. If you feel like this will still make you very anxious, talk to our doctor about other sedations that may be available to help you relax during a root canal.
During the consultation before the procedure, our doctors will ask you about any medications you are currently taking. Some medicines may interfere with the sedation we give you and vice versa. We want to avoid any adverse drug interactions. After the root canal, you may be given an antibiotic if there was a previous infection, to prevent any additional infections. Prescription pain medication may be needed, but most patients will tolerate any discomfort with standard over-the-counter pain medication.
Before you leave our practice, our staff will give you detailed aftercare instructions to prevent any reinfections and to speed up your recovery. At first, you will want to avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the root canal is located. That area will be very tender, and any pressure can be painful. It will also help you avoid getting another infection and lower the chances of breaking your newly fragile tooth. You will want to stick to your regular oral health routines, with brushing and flossing.
Finally, you will want to monitor the area for signs of a tooth infection. Symptoms of a tooth infection include excessive swelling and tenderness with ongoing pain to food or drinks. You may also find a lump on your gums, a strong-smelling odor from your mouth, and your tooth may darken. Our doctors will let you know how much swelling and pain should be expected and what levels it needs to be at to be concerned about infection. If you feel that your root canal has become infected, call us right away!
Generally, people return to work the next day after a root canal. However, if pain medications are prescribed, you may want to check with your doctor and employer to make sure this does not impair your ability to work safely. If it does, it may be a few more days until strong pain medication is no longer needed.
Do you have additional questions about root canals? Contact Ideal Endodontics today, and our friendly staff will be more than happy to assist you!