How to Know If Your Tooth May Need A Root Canal
What is a Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is the treatment done to improve and help save a tooth that is extremely decayed or infected. Decay and infections are typically caused by a cracked tooth or cavities.
What You Can Expect During a Root Canal:
- Root canal therapy can be done in one visit. However, some may take multiple visits to complete.
- At your first visit, the dentist examines the tooth then administers a local anesthetic to the tooth. After the tooth is numb, a protective sheet called a "dental dam" is placed over the area to isolate the tooth.
- An opening is created in the crown of the tooth, then the pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals are cleaned out with the use of very tiny instruments and cleansing agents.
- After cleaning and shaping the space, the root canal is filled with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. This filiing helps keep the canals free of infection or contamination. However, in many cases, a temporary material is used to closed the opening and is removed before the tooth is restored.
- At your final visit, your dentist will place a crown on the top of the tooth to protect and restore the tooth's full function.
Warning Signs You May Need A Root Canal:
- You have pain or sensitivity when you chew and/or drink hot or cold liquids.
- You have pain or sensitivity when you eat sweets, but the pain isn't constant
- You have swelling on the gum area surrounding the tooth.
- Discoloration or darkening of the tooth.
Does Root Canal Therapy Hurt?
Many people have a fear of root canal treatment because they are afraid of the pain that many say comes with the procedure. However, the majority of the pain comes from the untreated infected tooth.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it's best to contact your local dentist right away. Waiting longer could cause the symptoms to worsen over time.