Do I Need A Root Canal?
Root canal procedures can bring relief to toothaches and save damaged teeth. However, answering “do I need a root canal?” can be difficult. Sometimes, only a trained dentist can spot the signs of an infected or damaged tooth. Pain or other physical symptoms can also be evidence that the problem has progressed, so waiting for those signs can be a bad idea. Being aware and responding to the warning signs associated with decay and damage is your best defensive measure.
What is a Root Canal?
Root canals are procedures that can save infected teeth. In these procedures, your dentist cleans out the canals within your tooth’s root. These canals contain pulp, which is a soft material that can become infected. During the procedure, your dentist will remove the damaged or infected pulp. Then, they can clean and disinfect the inside of the tooth before filling and sealing it. A crown is typically placed on top of the tooth to keep it secure and protected.
To keep you comfortable during a root canal, your dentist will usually use a local anesthetic to numb the area. And before the procedure, your dentist will take an X-ray to determine the extent of damage to the tooth.
Why Do I Need a Root Canal?
The most common sign that the answer to “do I need a root canal?” is yes is tooth pain. Infected teeth can cause pain that might feel sharp and momentary or dull and long-lasting. Depending on where the infection is, you might even feel pain when eating or drinking. If tooth pain is causing you to have trouble with routine activities, you should schedule a visit to your dentist as soon as possible. Root canals can bring relief to pain, so it is important not to let the infection get worse.
Aside from persistent pain, there are other signs that you might need a root canal:
- Swollen or inflamed gums – Painful, swollen gums are often symptoms of problems beneath the surface
- Discolored teeth – While stains from food or beverages can discolor teeth, dark discoloration might be a sign of infection
- Sensitivity to heat or cold – Lingering sensitivity can be a sign of damage or infection
- Chipped or cracked teeth – Exposed nerves can become infected
- Tooth mobility – Infected teeth can become loose
A dentist will be able to take an X-ray and see if a root canal is right for you. While dental treatments can be anxiety-inducing, root canals are highly successful procedures. In the hands of our experienced staff at Columbia Smiles, you can be confident that you’re receiving competent care.
Root Canal Therapy at Columbia Smiles
While some tooth pain is not a cause for concern, persistent, long-lasting pain might need to be treated with a root canal. At our award-winning dental practice in Columbia, MD, we offer many dental services including, cosmetic dentistry services, dental crowns and bridges, and dental trauma services. If you think you need a root canal in Howard County, call Columbia Smiles at 410.690.4855.