Going to the dentist isn't any fun, but it is one of those things that just has to be done. For years, I fought the process and didn't go for my regular cleanings and in the end, it sure didn't pay to do so. I ended up spending ten times as much time in the chair and a boat-load of money in dental repairs. If you don't like going to the dentist, you can make it easier on yourself. This blog will show you a few tips that can help you improve the experience and get through the treatment without as much discomfort.
Around 15 million root canals are performed each year. This means that the treatment is both a common and routine one that most dentists are very familiar with completing. Most root canals are performed due to the formation of an infection within the tooth. The treatment removes pus and bacteria from the infection, and it also gets rid of damaged tissues and the nerves that sit low in the tooth. Root canals usually do not fail or require additional treatment once they are completed. However, if additional treatment is required, this is usually due to mistakes made by the patient. Keep reading to learn about some of these mistakes and what kinds of issues may be caused by them.
Placing Too Much Pressure and Stress On The Tooth
Many root canals are completed within two or three dental visits. The initial visit involves the scraping and rinsing of the inside of the tooth. Sometimes, the tooth will be medicated to make sure that all bacteria is killed off before the tooth is filled in. This will leave you with a hollow tooth for about a week and a temporary filling secured in the dental crown to keep food out of the area.
Since the filling will need to be removed soon after it is placed so your dentist can fill your tooth with rubber material, it will not be as strong and secure as the ones placed during normal filling procedures. This means that the filling can be chipped or broken, and you may place too much pressure and stress on the tooth after the root canal to cause this to happen. If this happens, the tooth will be medicated again and another temporary filling will be placed. Basically, this will extend your dental treatments by another week or two.
You can prevent this type of issue from occurring by avoiding extremely hard and crunchy foods for a week. Try not to eat things like popcorn, nuts, pretzels, hard candies, pizza crusts, and any other hard foods you can think of. Think about staying away from sticky foods like taffy, jelly beans, licorice, and gum as well. Brush the teeth gently too, to avoid damage to the filling.
If possible, try not to clench your jaw or bite down hard on the treated tooth. Many people will place pressure on a painful tooth to relieve discomfort, much like a child does when they are teething. While the jaw and gums may hurt for several days after a root canal is completed, it is best to avoid bite pressure if possible. Try to rely on NSAID pain relievers like ibuprofen to reduce discomfort instead.
Not Cleaning the Area Properly
While it is wise to avoid pressure on a tooth that has received a root canal, this does not mean that you should stop brushing and flossing around the tooth. If you do this, you may cause an issue where the tooth deteriorates further and an extraction may be required. After a root canal is performed, the tooth will no longer contain any of the blood vessels or tissues that have kept the tooth alive.
This means that the tooth will be a dead shell left behind. The shell will be far more brittle than the teeth in the surrounding area. This is one reason why a dental crown may be secured on the tooth. However, if you or your dentist have decided to forego the crown, then your teeth will be far more susceptible to cracking and serious damage due to decay. This means that you need to be diligent about oral care, instead of avoiding it around the tooth.
Clean around the treated tooth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste like you would the rest of your teeth. Also, floss and use mouthwash to get rid of plaque and bacteria. Inspect the treated tooth often as well. If you see any signs of cavities around the tooth, make sure to see your dentist immediately. Smaller cavities can likely be treated with fillings if they are caught early on and the structural integrity of the tooth will not be compromised.