A root canal is a common dental procedure that many face at least once in their lives. Despite the negative buzz surrounding root canals, when the need arises, it is an essential procedure for maintaining the health and wellness of your teeth and mouth.
The basics of root canal
A root canal is a procedure that removes bacteria from the root canals of the tooth.
Pulp is a soft tissue that resides inside your teeth, behind the hard layer of dentin. The pulp is made up of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues. When a tooth is in its infancy, pulp allows its roots to grow properly. However, an adult tooth is capable of surviving without its pulp. If pulp becomes infected, it requires removal. During a root canal, the infected or inflamed pulp is removed to ensure the survival of the tooth.
A root canal is generally necessary when a tooth is experiencing extreme decay due to bacterial infection. After infectious elements are removed, the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and sealed, preserving the natural tooth.
Millions of root canals are performed yearly. They ultimately relieve pain and make your teethand your mouth healthier.
Why get a root canal?
If an infected tooth remains untreated, the ramifications are both dangerous and incredibly painful. If the dental pulp becomes inflamed, it causes immense pressure from inside the tooth, causing significant discomfort and damaging the structure of the tooth.
If the pulp is severly infected, the infection can spread to the gums and tissue surrounding the tooth. In this case, a painful abscess can form along the gum tissue that threatens the health of your entire mouth. It is in your best interest to treat your teeth before these abscesses form or get treatment as soon as possible if you notice pimple like spots on your gums, as these are abscesses beginning to form. If you get your root canal before the bacteria spreads, you can save yourself a lot of discomfort and keep your mouth healthy.
How to know if you need a root canal
Here are a few situations that qualify for a root canal procedure to ensure the health of your teeth and mouth.
- Intense pain while chewing. If you are experiencing deep pain in your tooth with biting down and chewing food, this may be a sign that the pulp in your tooth has become infected, requiring a root canal to rectify.
- Pimples on the gums. These are signs of early abscess growth, meaning an infection is spreading from your tooth to your gums.
- Damaged tooth. If your tooth is cracked or chipped, you may require a root canal.
- Sensitivity. If you feel abnormal irritation in your tooth due to hot or cold temperatures, this is another sign that the inner tooth may be infected.
- Swelling in your gums around your teeth. This is another sign that an infection had spread from a tooth that requires root canal treatment.
- Darkening. If your tooth and gums darken, this means that the infection has caused decay to set in. In this case, you should seek treatment as soon as possible.
Root canal treatment and restoration
During a root canal, an opening will be created in the tooth, allowing for the removal of the infected pulp. Mild discomfort after treatment is common, but you and your dentist will explore avenues for minimizing pain and maximizing comfort.
The final restoration process involves filling the hole made in the tooth during the root canal. The restorative stage typically is done in one of two ways. Depending on how small the cavity created by the root canal is, you can get a filling that will occupy the space and provide structural integrity for the tooth. The second option is getting a crown over the tooth.
If you are experiencing a toothache or any signs of an infected tooth, contact Owen’s Cosmetic and Family Dentistry as a matter of urgency. Call today at (248)-626-0772 or visit us online to schedule an appointment.