A root canal is often recommended to save a damaged or infected tooth. The procedure involves removing the damaged or infected pulp from the inside of the tooth and filling it with a material to restore its function. While Hollywood root canals are renowned for being painful, they are typically no more uncomfortable than getting a filling.
Root canal diagnosis
Before recommending a root canal, your dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums to determine the cause of your pain or discomfort. They may also take X-rays to examine better the structure of your tooth and the surrounding bone.
If your dentist suspects that the pulp inside your tooth is infected or damaged, they may perform a pulp vitality test to assess the health of the pulp. This involves using a special tool to apply hot or cold stimuli to the tooth to see how it responds.
If the pulp is damaged or infected, your dentist may recommend a root canal to save the tooth and alleviate your symptoms. Addressing the problem immediately is recommended to prevent further damage or infection and preserve the tooth. If left untreated, a damaged or infected tooth can lead to more serious complications, including abscesses, bone loss, and even tooth loss.
Here are some common reasons why a dentist may recommend a root canal:
- Deep decay: If left untreated, a cavity can reach the pulp inside the tooth and cause an infection. A root canal may be necessary to remove the infected pulp and restore the tooth.
- Trauma to the tooth: If a tooth is cracked or chipped due to injury or trauma, the pulp inside the tooth may become damaged or exposed. A root canal can remove the damaged pulp and save the tooth.
- Multiple dental procedures: If a tooth has had multiple dental procedures, such as fillings or crowns, the pulp inside the tooth may become inflamed or damaged. A root canal can remove the damaged pulp and restore the tooth.
- Severe toothache: If you experience a severe toothache that persists for several days, it may be a sign of an infection or damage to the pulp inside the tooth. A root canal can help alleviate the pain and prevent tooth removal.
- Abscess: It is a pocket of pus that can form in the tooth or gum tissue. If an abscess is present, a root canal may be necessary to remove the infected tissue and prevent the infection from spreading.
- Prevent tooth loss: A root canal can save a damaged or infected tooth from needing to be extracted. This can help preserve your natural smile and prevent the need for more extensive dental procedures in the future.
Root canal aftercare
Taking good care of your teeth and gums after a root canal is essential to encourage healing and prevent infection. This might entail using over-the-counter painkillers as prescribed, avoiding tough or chewy foods, maintaining good oral hygiene, and attending follow-up dental appointments. The affected tooth should also not be subjected to pressure, and complications like fever, swelling, or lingering pain should be treated immediately.
It is advisable to discuss your options with your dentist at Allure Dental if you are considering a root canal.