Each tooth is full of inner pathways and passages that exist between the dental pulp and tooth root. This network of pathways is known as the root canal. When the material along these pathways becomes infected, the procedure used to relieve the pain and remove the damaged material is also referred to as a root canal. Root canals are done as an effort to save the tooth. In this article, we will discuss the signs, causes, and procedures commonly associated with root canals to ensure that you know what to expect before heading into an appointment.
What Causes You to Need a Root Canal?
All dental professionals agree that three different things primarily cause root canals.
Severe decay: When a person is suffering from severe tooth decay, they will likely need to have a root canal procedure to maintain oral health and prevent an infection from developing within the tooth.
Damage to the Tooth: If a person causes injury to their tooth by chipping or breaking it, they may notice tooth pain inside of the root canal.
Disease: Those who suffer from serious oral health issues often develop infections in the tooth pulp and usually require root canal therapy to remove the infected portions of the tooth pulp.
Signs You Need a Root Canal
If you have been experiencing persistent pain in your teeth, you may need a dental procedure such as a root canal to alleviate the pain and prevent further issues from developing. Here are some indications that may help you to determine if you need to see a dentist or endodontist.
- Severe pain when applying pressure to the mouth
- Sensitivity in the teeth that causes pain to persist even after what triggered the pain has been removed
- Small bumps along the gum line
- Dark streaks and marks along the outer surface of the teeth
Root Canal Procedure
Root canals require several steps that allow the dentist to remove the infected tooth pulp and desensitize the nerve. Once this has been completed the dentist will proceed with filling and sealing the tooth to prevent further issues. New blood vessels will form and help save the tooth. Below you will find a list of what to expect.
- Root canals begin with an x-ray to determine the exact location of the damage
- The mouth is then numbed with a local anesthetic to ensure patient comfort
- The dentist will use their tools to access the inner portion of your tooth
- Once the internal work is complete, the dentist will fill the tooth with a special compound and place a temporary filling over the opening to ensure the tooth stays protected while a customized crown is being made
Some people experience soreness after they have a root canal procedure. This usually subsides in a few days and is easily managed with over the counter pain medications.
Visiting a Dentist
Visiting a dentist on a routine basis for maintenance can help you to avoid oral health issues. Routine dental cleanings are a quick and painless way to ensure that you do not have to endure the hassle of a root canal in the future.