Do I Need A Root Canal?

Do you have harsh pain when chewing or applying pressure to certain teeth? Do you have a tooth that is ultra sensitive to hot or color temperatures? Is that toot discolored with swollen gums or a recurring pimple on the gums? If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions, you may need a root canal.

A root canal is the treatment that is used to preserve an infected or decayed tooth. Root canals are performed when a tooth’s pulp is damaged beyond repair. The pulp is the tissue inside of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels. If your tooth is cracked, seriously injured, or has an untreated cavity, the pulp may become infected due to bacteria exposure.

The bacteria can enter the injured tooth and cause an infection or abscess on the inside of the tooth where the pulp is located. The abscess forms a pocket filled with pus near the roots of the tooth.  When this happens, you may experience any or all of the following symptoms:

  • Loss of bone around the root of the tooth
  • Drainage problems in the tooth
  • Swelling that can spread to the face, neck, or head

This is where a root canal comes in. Root canal is the name for the treatment used to save a tooth that has a damaged pulp and/or root. The root canal can save the tooth from having to be removed. If an infected tooth pulp goes untreated, the tissues around it may become infected. Bacteria can damage the bone in your jaw around the tooth, and you may experience severe pain and swelling. The root canal procedure involves removing the damaged nerve and pulp and cleaning and sealing the tooth.

If you think you may need a root canal, you need to visit your dentist right away. Your dentist will be able to examine your teeth, take an X-ray, and look at your dental history in order to properly identify which tooth is affected and why.

The root canal procedure may take more than one office visit, but despite the root canal’s reputation, it is designed to relieve pain not create it.  Although getting a root canal may not be the most fun thing on your to-do list, it is necessary to save a damaged tooth. Root canals are advantageous to extracting the tooth for many reasons. Root canals allow you to save your natural teeth, which allow you to eat a wider variety of foods than a replacement implant. Tooth extraction and replacement is more expensive than a root canal, requires more treatment, and may not last as long.  The root canal is the generally preferred treatment of choice for a damaged tooth pulp.

If you think you may be suffering from tooth pulp damage, please contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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