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Need a Root Canal? A Dentist Can Still Help You During Quarantine

April 15, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Angela Ruff @ 8:41 pm
A dentist smiling in an office.

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a disease that can be life-threatening for many, dental practices are doing their part by remaining closed for non-essential services. This means exams, cleanings and other non-urgent treatments are not available until further notice. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t perform an emergency root canal in Fayetteville if needed. Instead of heading to the ER, learn how to reduce discomfort at home and what a dentist can do to save your tooth!

How to Mitigate Tooth Pain at Home

One of the easiest and most effective at-home remedies for tooth pain is a simple salt water rinse. Many people don’t realize this, but salt water is actually a natural antibacterial agent. This makes it great for temporarily relieving tooth pain and reducing inflammation caused by an oral infection. Start by combining ½ teaspoon of table salt and 8 ounces of warm water. After rinsing it in your mouth for about 30 seconds, spit it out and see how your tooth feels then.

You can also take over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. These both reduce inflammation as well, helping you buy some time before you get to our office. If needed, apply a cold compress to your cheek as well if any swelling occurs. You can apply the compress for about 10 minutes at a time, then you should remove it for an additional 10 minutes to avoid damaging your facial tissue.

Why You Should Skip the Emergency Room

While you might be tempted to go to the emergency room for an oral infection, you should only go if you are experiencing severe symptoms and the dentist is not available to see you. This means you are struggling to breathe because the infection is blocking sections of the airway.

Most emergency rooms are not equipped to handle oral infections, nor do they have workers who are trained to work inside the mouth as effectively as dentists. Furthermore, they may not even be legally allowed to do so, forcing them to give you painkillers and send you on your way. On top of that, they are likely to be preoccupied with treating COVID-19 patients, meaning they may not be able to see you for a long time anyway.

The Root Canal Process

Most dentists are trained to perform root canal therapy. When you visit, they’ll perform a detailed exam and X-ray of your mouth in order to confirm the location of the infection. Once they’ve numbed your tooth and the surrounding gum tissue, they’ll create a small access hole in the crown (top) portion so they can reach the inner area where the pulp and nerve lie. After removing all decayed and dead tissue, they’ll shape and irrigate the canal in order to make room for replacement material known as gutta percha. This rubber-like substance is designed to reduce the risk of future infections. Finally, a crown is placed on top of the tooth to seal it away from bacteria.

Even if you have severe tooth pain during COVID-19, a dentist can help. Call them today to get your dental emergency handled!

About the Author

Not only can Dr. Ruff perform root canal therapy in-office, but she’s happy to walk patients through each step of treatment so you can feel confident before beginning the procedure. She’s also happy to provide tips to manage dental pain before you arrive at the office. To schedule an appointment, you can contact her through her website.