A root canal is a dental procedure that attempts to preserve a tooth that is decayed or infected. Failing other treatment options, the nerve of the tooth and the pulp would be removed, and the finished restoration would return things to normal. You may be wondering if you need a root canal, based on various symptoms, and here, a professional diagnosis would be essential. In the event that you need a root canal, the dentist will determine how best to proceed and provide the best outcome.
There are a few important signs specifying that you need a root canal
Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment, is performed when a tooth has severe and irreparable damage to the pulp. In such cases, the dentist will confirm that you need a root canal. This may be due to serious dental decay; a broken or cracked tooth; or even an injury to a tooth. The objective of the root canal is therefore to repair the damage and restore tooth integrity and function. The step-by-step procedure allows for complete and successful tooth restoration.
Some of the symptoms that indicate you need a root canal
Probably the most common symptom that you need a root canal is tooth pain. Tooth pain is quite personal and the intensity may range from mild to severe – but certainly with any pain, diagnosis is required. Some patients may experience severe pain when biting down on a tooth. Others may experience extreme sensitivity with hot foods or hot liquids. And for some, the gums might feel tender and swollen around the problem tooth. Any such symptoms are a sign of a problem.
Tooth pain doesn’t always mean that you need a root canal. But it’s certainly an alert that there is something wrong. In addition, there are other signs and symptoms that are worth checking out.
- A chipped or cracked tooth
- Tooth pain while chewing
- Serious pain when biting
- Tender or swollen gums
- A lesion in the gum area
- Sensitive to hot/cold food
- Discoloration of the tooth
Today, root canal treatments are effective and long lasting
While root canals might still have a reputation for being a painful treatment, this is an outdated notion. Today, with modern anesthetics and advanced treatment techniques, the root canal procedure is completely pain free. In fact, the pain and discomfort of a decaying tooth is much more painful than the actual root canal surgery.
During a root canal treatment, the damaged pulp from the tooth is removed and everything is disinfected and cleaned. The tooth is then “refilled” with a restorative material and is then re-sealed to ensure the integrity of the restored tooth. A successful root canal allows a restored tooth to feel and function as normal (biting and chewing naturally).
There are a number of benefits to having a root canal - further tooth damage is prevented; there is no added wear and tear to the other teeth; biting and chewing capacity are restored; and the mouth functions as usual. Depending on the patient’s health, sedatives can be used to reduce pain and discomfort during the root canal procedure.
Deciding whether or not a root canal procedure is necessary
The main reason for doing a root canal is to save the natural tooth. An experienced dentist will recommend this approach over others simply because of the benefits of keeping the structure and integrity of the original tooth.
With proper treatment and proper after-care, the finished restoration is both effective and long lasting. Find out more about root canal treatments at the Mackenzie Dental Centre, where the clinic environment is comfortable.
Dr. Lloyd Pedvis provides dentistry for the entire family, along with valuable advice on the pros and cons of each treatment. Beyond root canal treatment, Dr. Pedvis offers everything from tooth cleaning to bridges and implants.