If you have a tooth that is infected or decayed, your dentist may recommend a root canal. During a root canal, an endodontist will clean the problematic areas within your tooth, including the pulp and the nerve. After a thorough cleaning, the tooth will be sealed to prevent future issues. These procedures are common, safe, and help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Pain, sensitivity, and discoloration can all be signs of a problematic tooth. These signs might indicate that a root canal may be necessary. If you’re experiencing these signs and would like to learn more about why a dentist may recommend a root canal, schedule an appointment with your dentist today.
Signs You Need a Root Canal
Why would a tooth need a root canal? If you’ve experienced an injury to your face, such as a blow to the mouth, your tooth’s nerve or pulp, which is the soft interior of your tooth, may be compromised. The damage, over time, may turn into an infection. Also, cracks and chips in your tooth may open the door to bacteria. These channels, if not monitored and maintained, could result in significate infection as well.
If you’re experiencing any of the following, it’s possible that you might need a root canal:
- A high level of sensitivity to hot or cold
- Chips or cracks in your teeth
- Persistent toothaches or sharp pain when biting or chewing
- Swollen, tender gums
- Darkened gums, which can be a sign of decay
Additionally, swelling in your face, cheek and/or tender lymph nodes might be signs of an abscess, which is a pocket of pus caused by an infection. These abscesses might be treated with a root canal.
Visiting your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams are the best way to stay on top of any oral health issues that could necessitate a root canal. Your dentist will be able to spot problems such as tooth decay. They are able to provide treatment before they become more serious.
The Root Canal Procedure
If you’re concerned that you need a root canal, talk to your dentist. They will diagnose your oral health issues and then develop a personalized treatment plan to address your needs.
What can you expect during a root canal? Understanding the procedure can help reduce anxiety and smooth the experience.
First, your dentist will X-ray your tooth to better understand the cause of your symptoms. If a root canal is needed, an endodontist will numb the area with local anesthesia, eliminating the pain during the procedure. Through a small opening to access the pulp of your tooth, your dentist will remove any infected material or debris. Then, they’ll clean out your tooth and seal it to protect it from any future decay or damage. Finally, they might place a crown on top in order to secure your tooth, restoring its full functionality
With today’s advances in medicine, a root canal is no more painful than receiving a filling. You’ll be pleased with the results, especially if you have experienced pain or sensitivity as a consequence of the decay or infection. To take care of your tooth after a root canal, simply brush and floss as usual, also be sure to visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams.
Contact Columbia Smiles for Specialty or General Dentistry Services
Columbia Smiles has been trusted by Howard County residents for over three decades. In our dental practice, we offer a wide range of both specialty and general dentistry services. Whether you need a root canal, a regular cleaning, or cosmetic dentistry services, we can help.