Root canals are very common procedures that are performed every day. They may sound scary, but they aren’t so bad at all. In fact, they are a great way for a decaying tooth to be saved by a skilled dentist. And, of course, it will also relieve your pain, too.
So how can you tell whether your tooth will require a filling or something more in-depth like a root canal? Here’s what you need to know.
What is Root Canal Treatment?
Tooth decay can settle in a tooth in a very minor way, such as a small cavity. If addressed by your dentist, this is something that can usually be taken care of with a filling.
However, when this small cavity continues to grow without treatment, the decay spreads. It works its way through the outer layer of enamel, the dentin (found in the second layer), and the pulp in the inner core at the jaw bone. This inner area is full of nerves, blood vessels, and tissue - and can be very painful when infected and inflamed due to decay.
Root canal treatment is designed to clean out this decay found in the root canal and surrounding areas and heal the infection. This is the first step in saving the tooth.
Signs that a Root Canal Treatment is Needed
There are certain signs to look for that will tell you that a root canal treatment may be necessary. Though, while you should always look out for these signals, anytime you feel any issue with your tooth, you ought to make an appointment with your dentist.
You may or may not be able to pinpoint the pain, but when a root canal is needed, you will feel pain while eating or otherwise applying pressure to the area. You may also feel a chronic ache that doesn’t offer relief in any way.
Sensitivity to Temperature
If a root canal is needed, it is common to feel sensitivity in a tooth or area within the mouth when eating or drinking something cold or hot. Eating a popsicle or sipping a hot tea may cause momentary pain that feels unbearable. It should dissipate rather quickly.
Some people have teeth that are naturally sensitive to extreme temperatures so it is best to have your dentist do a thorough examination to see if a root canal is warranted.
Tooth decay eats away areas of the tooth, leaving it discolored. No longer will your tooth be bright white but it may actually start to darken. This color change could be in one area of the tooth or the entire tooth.
Your teeth should never change color in this way so if you see it, contact your dentist.
Your gums are impacted but tooth decay too - especially as it gets further into the tooth. Signs of an infected tooth can result in swollen, sore, and tender gums surrounding it. Even a small bump that looks like a little pimple can appear along the gumline of the tooth.
All of this signals something is not right and should be examined by your dentist.
Root Canal Treatment at Ridgewood Endodontics
If you have been told you need a root canal or you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it is important to be seen by a dentist as soon as possible. At Ridgewood Endodontics, we have the skill and experience to provide you with the best treatment available.