Do You Need a Root Canal? Here Are a Few Things to Look For.
Root canals are a common dental procedure that can save a tooth that has become infected or damaged. If you are experiencing dental pain or discomfort, you may be wondering if you need a root canal. In this post, we’ll explore what to look out for, so you can make an informed decision. Learn more about root canals and how to identify whether you need one.
What Is A Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure that repairs and saves an infected or damaged tooth. Infections are usually the result of deep cavities, cracks, or chips in the tooth, or trauma to the tooth. If the infected or damaged pulp is not removed, an abscess (a pus-filled pocket) may develop in the gum, which can be very painful and can result in the loss of the tooth.
Root canals are typically performed by a dentist or endodontist (a specialist in treating the inside of the tooth). The procedure usually takes place over one or more visits, depending on the complexity of the case. While root canals have a reputation for being painful, modern techniques and local anesthesia make the procedure relatively painless.
What Are The Signs That You Need A Root Canal?
If you think you may need a root canal, here are a few signs you should be on the lookout for:
• Severe toothache: Severe toothache is a key indicator that you may need a root canal. This can involve significant pain when eating, drinking, or even brushing your teeth. The pain may radiate beyond just the affected area and throb in the jaw or neck. If the pain is intense and doesn’t go away with over-the-counter pain medication, it could be a sign of an infection or damage to the root of your tooth.
• Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks: Sensitivity to heat or cold is one of the most common signs that you may need a root canal. It can range from mild to severe. Sudden, sharp pain when biting down on something or simply brushing your teeth is typically a sign of an infection.
• Fever, chills and swollen lymph nodes: If you experience fever, chills and swollen lymph nodes in addition to other typical signs of infection, such as pain and sensitivity when eating or drinking, then this could indicate a more advanced infection. In this case, it’s important to seek treatment from a dentist as soon as possible, since the infection may have spread beyond just the affected tooth.
• Swelling and/or tenderness in the gums: Swelling around a tooth, gum tenderness, and redness of the gums can all be signs that an infection has spread beyond an affected tooth.
• Darkened tooth: An infection of the nerve or in the inner chamber of a tooth can cause it to darken. When this happens, it’s best to seek treatment from a dentist as soon as possible.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible. They will be able to diagnose the problem and determine if a root canal is necessary.
Are Root Canals Painful?
While root canals have a reputation for being painful, modern techniques and local anesthesia make the procedure relatively painless. An anesthetic is usually used to numb the area, so you won’t feel anything during the treatment. After the procedure, you may experience some soreness and discomfort in the area for a few days, but this can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medications. If you have any concerns or questions regarding pain or discomfort after the procedure, it’s best to consult your dentist.
Root canal procedures can vary in length, depending on the complexity of the case and the number of roots that need to be treated. On average, a root canal can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Sometimes they can take longer, and it may even be necessary to have more than one appointment to complete the procedure.
During the root canal procedure, the dentist or endodontist will numb the area around the tooth to ensure that you do not feel any pain. They will then create a small opening in the top of the tooth to access the infected or damaged pulp. The infected or damaged pulp is then removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and shaped. The tooth is then filled with a special material and sealed, and a crown or filling is placed on top to protect it.
After the procedure, you may experience some soreness and discomfort, but this should subside within a few days. Your dentist will give you instructions on how to care for the tooth and manage any discomfort. It is important to follow these instructions carefully to ensure the best possible outcome.
The Takeaway: Root Canals and Good Oral Health
All in all, it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of a problem that could require a root canal. Pain, swelling, sensitivity, discoloration, and fever are all signs that could indicate a more serious dental issue. If you experience any of these symptoms, make sure to seek treatment from a dentist as soon as possible in order to treat any active infection that may be present. Delaying the treatment of an infected tooth can put you at risk of the infection spreading to other parts of your body, which ultimately has the potential to be life-threatening. With the help of an experienced dentist, the infection can be removed and, in most cases, the tooth can be saved.