The idea of a root canal can seem intimidating. However, the claim that it’s a painful procedure is nothing more than a myth.
Root canal treatment is an effective way to save damaged or infected teeth. Our dentists employ modern dental techniques to keep the patient as comfortable as possible. In addition, a root canal is often a last-resort treatment option.
You can still save your teeth from decay if you catch it on time. So, how do you know if a root canal is what you need? Read on to discover the symptoms to watch out for before getting a root canal treatment.
What Is Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic therapy, addresses problems within the tooth pulp. The pulp is a part of the tooth that contains the blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. The nerves become inflamed when infected or damaged by severe tooth decay.
To save your tooth, getting a root canal treatment can help. This prevents the infection from spreading to adjacent teeth and surrounding tissues.
Signs You Need Root Canal Treatment
Did you know you can have an infected tooth with or without symptoms? That’s why it’s essential to have regular dental checkups. Your dentist can detect issues before they become worse.
However, it still helps to know the signs you may need immediate treatment.
A persistent toothache is a common symptom of various dental health issues. It can signify tooth decay, infection, or trauma. Regardless, pain is a sign of nerve involvement, inflammation, or damage in the tooth.
For root canals, chewing or applying pressure on the affected tooth triggers the ache. This means that the problem is within the pulp.
If you feel severe pain, it can involve nerve damage. You may also experience swelling and tenderness in the gums.
Sensitivity to Hot and Cold
Do you feel a sharp, shooting pain when you consume hot or cold drinks? Increased sensitivity to hot or cold stimuli is a sign of pulp inflammation. Infection within the tooth is also a possibility.
When infected, the nerves and blood vessels in your pulp react to temperature changes. Your sensitivity can persist even if you remove these foods from your diet.
Deep cavities, dental decay, and trauma are possible triggers of this sensitivity. Keeping your oral health in check can help delay or stop the progression of decay.
Another clear indicator of a pulp problem is swollen gums. In most cases, you can feel the pain around the infected tooth. Chewing or applying pressure on the affected area can worsen your condition.
Redness and dental abscesses can accompany swollen gums. You may also have a yellowish or greenish discharge, resulting in an unpleasant odour and taste.
Discolouration of the Tooth
Tooth discolouration is another huge sign of infected tooth pulp. The infected tooth often shifts to grey or dark yellow, looking unpleasant. Discolouration of the tooth usually means that the pulp is dead or dying.
Upon seeing colour changes, contact your dentist immediately. With prompt treatment and restoration, you can still save the discoloured tooth.
Apart from an endodontic case, do you have any dental problems? Teeth that show deep traumas that extend to the pulp have a high risk of infection. As the protective layers of your teeth get damaged, the bacteria begin to infiltrate the pulp, resulting in inflammation and infection.
In this case, a root canal treatment is the best intervention to save your tooth. Failing to opt for a dental procedure can result in other symptoms persisting. So, do not waste time further complicating your situation.
The Root Canal Procedure
Is a root canal painful? Fear is one of the main reasons why people delay treatment. 26% of Brits have cancelled or delayed an appointment due to their fear of the dentist.
The last thing your dentist wants is to hurt you. Thanks to modern technology, root canals are painless. Here’s a breakdown of the full procedure to put your mind at ease:
Cleaning the Canal
After confirming the need for intervention using an Electric Pulp Tester (EPT), your dentist develops a custom treatment plan. The procedure often takes a few sessions to complete.
On the day of the root canal, your dentist starts drilling a small hole in the affected tooth. This gives them access to the infected pulp. After removing the damaged or infected pulp, your dentist cleans the root canal to remove bacteria and debris.
Filling and Sealing
After cleaning, the filling and sealing of the tooth begins. Your dentist fills the root canal with a biocompatible material. Most dentists use gutta-percha.
This is the best core-filling material because it seals the space and prevents recontamination. To finish the procedure, your dentist closes the drilled hole with a filling.
Regardless of the treatment, some root canal issues leave your tooth vulnerable. The affected tooth often needs an extra restoration for strength and protection. This protects it from other dental problems.
In most cases, the dentist places a crown on the tooth. They custom-make the material to match the natural colour of the enamel. This helps to secure the damaged tooth and preserve your natural smile.
Like other health concerns, visiting your dentist for a follow-up is crucial. This lets your dentist know if your tooth is healing properly. If there are potential problems, they can tend to them right away.
Of course, you should also do your part to maintain your oral health. Your dentist may recommend products to maintain your dental well-being.
Do I Need Root Canal Treatment?
Here are some signs that you may need a root canal treatment. Persistent toothaches, swollen gums, and severe tooth damage could indicate a damaged pulp. Don’t ignore these symptoms, and contact your dentist right away.
Are you wondering where you can get a root canal treatment? At Bath Spa Dentistry, we offer a range of excellent dental services, including emergency care. Contact us here and let us know how we can make your smile brighter.