How Do I Know If I Need A Root Canal?
NOT YOUR PARENTS' ROOT CANAL
Although you're taking great care of your teeth, you will at some point experience pain or discomfort in one or more of your teeth. While many things can cause toothaches, tooth decay is the primary cause of a toothache. In some cases, the decay could lead to serious damage to the tooth, requiring a root canal to stop the pain and save the tooth. Many people fear root canals because they assume they will be painful. However, because of advances in the dental industry and modern sedation methods, root canals by a board-certified dentist in Monaca, PA can be completed quickly with minimal pain during and after. Learn more about the root canal procedure and the difference from a normal dental filling by reading the information provided below:
WHY YOU MIGHT NEED A ROOT CANAL
Root canals are a dental procedure that is performed to heal a tooth that is infected. This procedure is typically performed when the pulp (the innermost portion) of the tooth becomes damaged or infected. During this therapy, the pulp is extracted and the inside chamber of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. A root canal is one of the many dental procedures that have benefited from modern medical technology and equipment. Even though root canals used to be scary and painful, root canals can now be done more efficiently with very little discomfort. Getting a root canal can save your tooth and mouth.
A ROOT CANAL VS. A FILLING
Cavities are a problem caused by bacteria that eventually leads to decay. While they range in size and severity, cavities can generally be treated with a filling. This procedure requires the use of a composite material to fill the enamel as soon as the decayed area on the surface of the enamel is cleaned away. If a cavity is not identified and treated, the infection can spread from the surface of the tooth into the pulp. Once this happens, a root canal is required to remove the infected interior pulp. If the infection is not treated, it can spread to your other teeth as well as your gums, jaw, and blood stream. As you can see, it's easier to have the problem identified and corrected as soon as possible. This is one of the reasons DentalWorks - Beaver Valley advocates everyone in Monaca, PA get annual oral health exams by a board-certified dentist. Digital images and other tools help your dentist diagnose cavities before you need a tooth extracted or a root canal.
SIGNS OF A TOOTH ROOT INFECTION
Like many dental problems, a toothache is a sign that you may need a root canal. Your tooth pain could be constant or only when you try to use the tooth. Another common sign of an infected tooth is sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. Discoloration of the tooth as well as swelling and tenderness of the gums could also suggest the need for a root canal. At times, infection of the nerves and pulp of your tooth could cause recurring sores on the gums around the tooth. When you have any of these signs, you should contact a dentist in Monaca, PA to make an appointment for an oral health exam. Bring a list of your symptoms and when they appeared to help your dentist diagnose your problem.
THE TREATMENT PROCESS
Your root canal can be performed by your dentist or an endodontist, typically in one visit. The initial step is to take digital x-rays to evaluate if the infection has affected nearby areas. Then, your dentist will numb the area with local anesthesia to ensure you do not feel discomfort or pain during the procedure. Some form of sedation could be used if you have dental phobias, or in case you would prefer to be more comfortable throughout your treatment. Next, to keep the tooth dry during the treatment, a member of your dental team will place a rubber dental dam around the tooth. Then, an access point will be gently made in the tooth using a dental drill. Through the hole, the infected pulp will be removed. This is done using a careful cleaning process that scrubs away any remaining bacteria. As soon as the cleaning process is complete, the tooth will be filled and sealed. In many cases, your dentist will recommend putting a dental crown over the treated tooth for strength and protection. DentalWorks - Beaver Valley offers custom restorations that are made to blend seamlessly with your natural teeth. With the restoration, the tooth should be safe and will work like the rest of your teeth.
Root canal therapy should very quickly and efficiently relieve any pain you felt before the procedure. Until your root canal therapy is finished and your dental crown has been placed, it may be a good idea to avoid eating chewy or hard items. Your tooth is going to be vulnerable until the restoration is placed and might become re-contaminated if the tooth breaks before the procedure can be completed. In the first few days following the treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive because of natural tissue inflammation, especially if there was pain before the root canal. Your dentist may prescribe pain medication to help you manage the discomfort. Typically, patients can return to their normal activities the next day. You should brush and floss your teeth as you usually would and continue visiting your dentist at normally scheduled intervals.
CAN I AVOID GETTING A ROOT CANAL?
Many teeth fixed with root canal can stay healthy for a long time; however, most people would be pleased to never need a root canal. You can avoid needing a root canal by visiting a dentist in Monaca, PA every six months for oral health exams and cleanings, as well as following a great home oral care routine with twice daily brushing and flossing. If you have a cavity and it is found and corrected quickly, the decay will not become severe enough to damage the interior pulp of your tooth. If you're looking for a board-certified dentist in Monaca, PA to care for your family's teeth, contact DentalWorks - Beaver Valley to schedule a check-up. Our experienced team will help treat any existing issues and make a proactive treatment plan to help lower your risk of a tooth infection that needs a root canal.
* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.