If you are in need of a root canal, it is important to be aware of how the procedure works and the potential complications that can happen afterward. The last thing you want to happen is get an infection, which can become very painful and cause you to lose the tooth you tried to save. Here are some common questions about root canals and infections.
How Are Infections Treated?
If you end up having an infection, you may assume that the standard treatment for this problem will be a prescription for an antibiotic. Unfortunately, it's likely that an antibiotic will not be effective at getting rid of your infection in the tooth you received the root canal on. While prescriptions for antibiotics are sometimes given to lower your risk of an infection, it will not actually be able to treat an infection if you get it.
Your dentist will actually have to go back into the tooth and fix the problem, which is done by removing tissue inside the tooth that has been infected. Neglecting to treat an infection caused by a root canal will only cause it to spread.
What Will It Feel Like After a Root Canal?
Many dental patients have the expectation that they will receive a root canal and experience intense pain afterward or leave the procedure and not be able to drive themselves home. The realistic expectation of recovering from a root canal should be no different than having a cavity filled. Your dentist will use local anesthesia to numb your mouth before performing the root canal, and that anesthetic only causes a numbing effect rather than knock you out. The sensation goes away after a couple hours, and because of that, you are completely capable of driving your vehicle home.
What Are the Side Effects of a Root Canal?
You may have concerns about how a root canal can affect you long after the procedure is done, with a common concern being if there are restrictions over foods that can be eaten. Know that the crown that is placed on the tooth should give it plenty of strength, and you can go back to eating the same foods you enjoy. However, you need to still brush and floss regularly to maintain good oral health or else the tooth gum tissue surrounding the tooth can become infected.
Have more questions? Ask your dentist before they perform the root canal.