If a dentist has recently told you or your child that a root canal is needed, you may be wondering if it’s a safe treatment to have performed while wearing braces. It’s common for people to associate having a root canal with pain and discomfort, but having a root canal is not so different from a standard filling. Both treatments can be safely and effectively performed while undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Read on to learn more about the process of having a root canal procedure performed and what you can do to help keep your orthodontic treatment plan on track.
Reasons Why You May Need a Root Canal
More than 15 million root canals are performed annually, so you’re not alone if your dentist recommends the treatment. A root canal is a dental procedure where the inflamed or infected pump is removed from the inside of the tooth. Once the bad pulp has been removed, the tooth’s root canal is cleaned, filled, and sealed. A crown or other restoration is then placed to protect the tooth.
Signs you need a root canal include:
- Severe pain
- Bumps on the gums
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Swollen gums
- Tender gums
- Darkening of the gums
- A chipped or cracked tooth
- An abscess
What To Expect During a Root Canal With Braces
There are several reasons why a root canal may be needed, but very rarely are braces to blame. Regardless of why the root canal is needed, getting a root canal while wearing braces will not affect the procedure. The brackets and wires are on the front of the teeth, and a root canal treatment requires access from the top or the back of a tooth. Depending on the location, your dentist may recommend scheduling an appointment to have your wires removed right before your treatment to give them easier access to the tooth. Once the root canal is complete, the wire can be replaced.
Root Canals Aren’t Painful
Contrary to popular myth, root canal treatments are no more painful than having a regular filling. Your dentist will numb you in the same way as any other dental treatment, and the only thing a patient will feel is pressure. Taking over-the-counter pain medications like Tylenol or Advil for a few days will help with any pain or discomfort after the treatment. Most people report feeling a little sensitive or tender for a few days after having a root canal. In typical cases, any sensitivity and discomfort patients feel after a root canal should subside within a few days.
How Should I Care For My Tooth After a Root Canal?
After your procedure, your dentist will send you home with instructions for pain management and how to care for your tooth while your body recovers until your follow-up visit.
Take care of your mouth by:
- Not chewing or biting down on the treated tooth until it’s fully restored by a dentist to avoid damaging it
- Brush and floss daily as you usually would to keep the area clean and avoid infection
- Rinse your mouth with a warm saltwater solution to help aid in potential infections
- Keep your mouth clean and debris free after eating or drinking
If you’re experiencing severe pain and discomfort after a root canal procedure, contact your dentist right away. It’s also recommended to schedule a checkup with Thomas Orthodontics after your treatment to ensure that your orthodontic treatment plan is still on track. Contact us with any questions you have about how to prepare for a root canal with braces or for any aftercare tips.