Do I Need a Root Canal? – Total Family Dental Group
Root canal treatment, or endodontic treatment, removes infected or decayed dental pulp from teeth. This procedure has a reputation of being particularly uncomfortable and painful, and many patients are fearful of receiving treatment. At Total Family Dental Group, we do the most we can to ensure your comfort during endodontic treatment. However, understanding when a root canal is necessary comes down to specific signs and symptoms; knowing them can lead to early detection, which protects your oral health.
Signs You Need a Root Canal
Although localized pain is a significant sign that there may be infection or damage to the tooth, there isn’t always a distinct indicator pointing to endodontic treatment.
Cracked or Broken Teeth
You can break or chip your teeth by chewing on hard foods or by opening items with your teeth. Patients who find themselves with cracked or broken teeth should contact their dentist for a dental emergency as this damage allows bacteria access to the dental pulp, which can result in an infection. It’s important to alleviate swelling or pain in the area by applying a cold compress until you can schedule a visit with the dentist.
Tooth Pain and Sensitivity
When consuming hot or cold foods, do you find yourself being particular sensitive to the temperature? This may be a sign of an infection that may call for a root canal. Tooth sensitivity to temperature, and even daily habits such as biting or chewing, are factors in recognizing a dental infection.
Abscess or Gumboils
An abscess is a pimple-like infection that’s near the base of the tooth, typically where the roots are located. Gum boils are pus-filled sacs that are trapped underneath the gum tissue causing swelling in infected areas. These infections can be particularly painful and are an indication of severe tooth decay.
What Does Root Canal Treatment Entail?
Based on an examination of your dentition, x-rays, and testing for tooth sensitivity, the doctor may develop a treatment plan for endodontic treatment. This appointment typically takes one to three visits to fully complete, depending on the complexity of your decay. During treatment, the doctor will access the dental pulp via the top of the tooth. This permits them to remove the infected pulp, and then seal the tooth. A crown will then be placed, restoring the shape and integrity of the tooth structure. This process can take up to 30 to 90 minutes, so be sure to ask the doctor about any local anesthetics that may be needed for treatment.
At Total Family Dental Group, we are focused on comprehensive, preventive dentistry. Your oral health is our priority. If you are experiencing the following symptoms, contact our office today for an evaluation of your smile.