You may need a root canal if tooth decay or a broken tooth has allowed the pulp to become infected and inflamed. Signs and symptoms to watch out for include temperature sensitivity, swelling, drainage, odor, pain, and discoloration of the tooth. It is important to treat infections quickly, as delaying treatment can result in severe tooth pain and abscess.
Once the tooth is numb, an opening will be made in the top of your tooth to access the canals. Your dentist will use tiny instruments to remove pulp from your tooth and prepare it to be filled. You will return at a later date to have a crown fabricated that will give it the appearance and function of a natural tooth.
You will be allowed to drive yourself home from your root canal visit and may even wish to return to work the same day. However, it is normal for your tooth to be sensitive in the days following your procedure. You’ll need to avoid biting anything with your filled tooth, as this can cause it to break or fracture. So long as the tooth heals normally and you experience no complications, you can return to your dentist within a month to have a crown or other restoration placed on the tooth.