Questions about Root Canals and Braces It is Root Canal Awareness Week. Here is a PSA from Roos Orthodontics answering some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about root canals and braces.
Can I HAVE a root canal when I am wearing braces? The answer is “ABSOLUTELY”.
There are many reasons why a tooth needs a root canal, including but very rarely due to orthodontic forces. Regardless of the reason for the need for a root canal, having braces and getting a root canal can happen simultaneously. As you know, your brackets are on the front of your teeth, and for the procedure, your endodontist (root canal specialist) will make an opening in either the back or top side of the tooth. As with a routine hygiene appointment, we recommend that you have your wires removed prior to your appointment to give easier access to the tooth. Our office is happy to do this, and replace them afterwards but this does require some coordination between our office and your endodontist, so plan well in advance.
Can I wear braces if I already have had a root canal?
Teeth that have had root canals can usually be moved just fine with orthodontic treatment. Even though the tooth is essentially dead on the inside, we are really moving the outside of the root within the bone. If you have not started orthodontic treatment, we recommend waiting a 1-2 months after a root canal procedure before getting your braces or Invisalign, in order to give your tooth time to heal and adjust.
Will it hurt?
Contrary to popular myth, root canal procedures are not painful. Your endodontist will numb you in the same way as any other dental work and the only thing you should feel is pressure. Afterwards, a little Advil or Tylenol for a few days should be all you need (unless otherwise directed by your endodontist). You shouldn’t expect it to be any more uncomfortable than having your bands changed/braces adjusted.
So – keep smiling through Root Canal Awareness Week!