What Is a Root Canal?
Root canal therapy is a common treatment dentists use to repair and save a tooth. Over 14 million root canals are done every year making it one of the most common dental procedures performed.
Even though they have a bad reputation for being painful, they’re usually not at all. But a lot of times, really bad tooth pain actually means you need a root canal.
Your dentist can fix that pain so that it will never come back. Root canal therapy has a high rate of success. When a tooth gets a root canal, it will often function for a lifetime.
With today’s advances in dentistry this simple, and relatively painless, treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need of dental implants or bridges.
What Are the Signs I Need a Root Canal?
You will need a root canal when the pulp inside the tooth becomes infected, aggravated or dies. The roots of your teeth are connected to a nerve. When the nerve gets effected, it can be incredibly painful.
No matter how scared the thought of a root canal makes you, waiting until it is too late can be a huge mistake. Ignoring an infection or cavity in your mouth could be dangerous to your overall health.
Signs to Look for Include:
- Non-Instigated pain (the tooth hurts with out eating or drinking)
- Prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold after you have a dental treatment
- Tenderness to touch and chewing
- Discoloration of the tooth
- Swelling, drainage and tenderness in the lymph nodes and nearby bone and gum tissues.
However, sometimes there are no symptoms, if a nerve/tooth dies, the infection can grow and not cause any discomfort.
This is why it is extremely important for adults to have a full set of x-rays taken every 3-5 years.
It is possible to have a very large infection in your mouth and not be aware of it.
Often a “high bite” can cause root canal like symptoms. If left untreated a high bite or malocclusion (bad bite) can cause the tooth to start to die and need a root canal treatment.
Its important to have all dental pain diagnosed and addressed early on. It might mean the difference of having a bite adjustment or a root canal treatment.
What Can Cause This Damage?
Tooth nerve and pulp can become infected, inflamed and irritated due to several reasons including:
- Extensive tooth decay
- Repeated dental procedures on a tooth
- Restorations on a tooth (Fillings or Crowns)
- A crack or chip in the tooth
- Trauma to the face and injury to the tooth that causes it to die
What To Expect
During your consultation, Dr. Pollack and her team will perform an exam with x-rays and test the tooth, to decide if it does indeed need a root canal treatment. Additionally we will be sure to discuss the details of your upcoming procedure, as well as answer any questions that you may have.
First, she’ll apply a local anesthetic to ensure your mouth remains numb throughout the entire procedure. Then she will place a dental dam over the tooth to isolate it. This dam keeps your tooth clean as well.
Second, she’ll make an opening in the tooth. She will then use small instruments to clean the pulp from the chamber and root canals.
Third, she will disinfect the root and fill the area with gutta-percha (a natural form of rubber). This helps strengthen the roots of the tooth.
In most cases a crown needs to be done afterward to complete treatment.
Schedule Your Appointment Now
If you are having tooth pain, call us anytime. We have dentists available 24/7! A root canal is not painful. The reason people associate pain with root canals is they often have tons of pain in their tooth BEFORE the root canal. Come see us and we can get you in right away to take care of your tooth!
We have payment options, including our dental discount plan – the DENTAL ADVANTAGE PLAN. Low or no interest financing is available through Care Credit.
Don’t wait, especially if you feel pain, contact us today.