Root Canals

Missing and broken teeth can take a negative toll on your smile. You may feel less confident in the way you look. You also may not want to meet or speak with people face-to-face.

Rather than cope with a mouth full of missing and damaged teeth, you could have the damages repaired with a root canal. You can prepare for this procedure by learning what it is and how to recover from it.

What is a Root Canal?

Root canals are specialized dental procedures that involve drilling into the tooth and below the gum line to the nerve and roots. They are most often performed in response to serious infections like abscesses. They also may be performed to address chronic sinus infections that affect the nerve and roots of the teeth.

Root canals are performed either under general or local anesthesia. Children and teenagers most often are put under general IV sedation to keep them still and calm during the procedure. Adults often have the choice of being put to sleep or staying awake during their root canal treatments, however.

Once you are sedated, Dr. Heiden will use a specialized dental instrument to drill into the tooth and down below the roots and nerves. Once the nerves and roots are exposed, he will remove the nerves and pulp of the tooth. He will then clean the tooth inside and out before crowning or capped with a porcelain or metal material.

Most root canals take about an hour to perform. Once yours is finished, you will remain under observation in the dentist’s office for a half-hour to make sure you do not have allergic reactions to the anesthesia. You can then go home to recuperate.

Recovering from a Root Canal

Dr. Heiden will give you specific instructions that you must follow in the days and weeks that follow your root canal. To start, he may advise you to eat and drink a soft or liquid diet for the first 72 hours after the procedure. This suggestion ensures that you do not experience unneeded pain from trying to eat hard foods.

You also may be told to rest often during the first 24 to 48 hours. If you try to perform strenuous activities like heavy lifting or jogging, you could cause the stitches to loosen and your mouth to bleed uncontrollably.

Dr. Heiden may schedule a follow-up appointment 10 days to two weeks after the procedure. This appointment will ensure that the tooth is healing nicely and that infection is not spreading in your mouth. You should be fully recovered from the procedure two to three weeks after the root canal.

A root canal can give you back the confidence you want in your smile. It can save teeth that are severely damaged and infected. It can also save you from sinus pain that radiates throughout your entire face. Dr. Heiden will perform the procedure in his office. You can expect to be fully recovered within two to three weeks’ time.