When Do You Need A Root Canal?
Have you been told you need a root canal? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Millions of people get root canals every year. This form of treatment is often misrepresented as causing pain, but instead, it aims to provide pain relief. Read on to learn everything you need to know about root canal symptoms, root canal pain, root canal infection, root canal surgery, finding the best root canal specialist, how long a root canal can take, and when you need root canal therapy.
What Is A Root Canal?
There is a soft tissue inside the tooth, under the white enamel called the pulp. This is under the hard layer, also known as the dentin. The pulp contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. It helps your tooth root grow as you grow. If the tooth is fully developed, it can survive without the pulp because the tissues surrounding the tooth nourish it.
A root canal treatment involves the following:
- A root canal is needed if the pulp is inflamed or infected in some way. It is really not as bad as you think! Your root canal specialist can complete it in maximum three appointments. It is like a regular filling in some ways and might not even take longer depending on the condition of your tooth and your personal situation.
- Root canal therapy involves removing the inflamed or infected pulp and cleaning the inside of the tooth carefully, as well as disinfecting the entire area. After that, your dentist fills and seals your tooth with a rubber-like material. Dentists call this material gutta-percha. Then the tooth is restored with a filling or crown to protect it. It continues to function just like all other teeth after restoration.
So…how do you know if you need a root canal?
Signs that Could Mean You Need a Root Canal
The first sign is usually infection and/or swelling. There may be slight to severe pain. Pain is very subjective though; what is ‘slight’ to one may seem ‘severe’ to others and vice versa. However, there may be no symptoms, not even pain. Your dentist will still know whether or not you experience pain. Some indicators are abnormal tooth color, soft tissue changes, evidence of infection, drainage, and asymmetry.
Dental procedures performed to verify whether you need a root canal include additional hot and cold testing, electric pulp testing, percussion and an X-ray. Once your dentist has identified one or more potentially problematic teeth, there may be a few other tests required to zero in on the defective one.
Root Canal Treatments
There are many advantages of root canal treatments. The most important ones are, of course, saving the natural tooth, being able to chew efficiently, having a natural appearance, maintaining a normal biting force and sensation, and being able to protect your other teeth from excessive wear or strain.