3 Signs You Need a Root Canal
Do you need a root canal? This routine dental procedure is used to restore the health of a damaged or infected tooth. It is one of the most common restorative treatments in dentistry, performed by both dentists and endodontists.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal treats the dental pulp, the soft tissue on the inside of your tooth containing blood vessels and nerves that sustain your tooth. The dental pulp helps your tooth develop. Once the tooth is fully mature, the pulp continues to sustain the lifelong health of the tooth–but it is susceptible to infection.
If a tooth is infected or at risk of infection, a root canal can often save the tooth. The process involves removing the dental pulp, cleaning out the root canal, and filling the tooth with a biocompatible material that is resistant to infection. In most cases a crown will be placed over the tooth after a root canal to protect the remaining tooth material.
Need a Root Canal? Look for These 3 Signs
The following signs and symptoms indicate that a root canal could be needed:
- Severe Toothache. The most common sign of an infected tooth is a severe toothache. The pain from an infected tooth will sometimes come and go but it may also throb constantly. If you have pain coming from a certain area of your mouth, you should seek dental care. Getting treatment for an infected tooth as soon as possible could mean your tooth can be saved.
- Discolored Tooth. If you have a single tooth that looks gray or brown compared to your other teeth, it may need a root canal. The discoloration from inside the tooth is often an indication that the dental pulp has been compromised and there has been bleeding inside the tooth. The tooth may need a root canal to clean out the damaged pulp and restore the natural color of the tooth.
- Cracked, Broken, or Severely Decayed Tooth. If a tooth is damaged in some way, it is at risk of infection. A crack, a deep cavity, or a chipped or broken tooth can expose the dentin, the soft porous layer under the enamel. This may allow bacteria to invade the root canal and infect the dental pulp. A root canal performed at the right time can prevent infection and save the tooth. A crown may need to be placed over the remaining tooth material to protect the root.
Benefits of a Root Canal
Root canal therapy offers many benefits:
- Save the natural tooth. A root canal can often save a damaged tooth. If there is enough healthy tooth material left, the damaged portion can be removed and the tooth can be filled and fortified. The natural root can stay in place to support the tooth and crown. The tooth looks and functions normally.
- Avoid costly replacement. By saving the natural tooth you can avoid the cost of a replacement tooth, such as a bridge or dental implant.
- Treat or prevent pain. A root canal can put an end to a toothache or prevent uncomfortable pain from an infected tooth.
- Prevents infection from spreading. Treating a tooth with a root canal at the first sign of infection can prevent it from spreading to the neighboring teeth.
Think You Need a Root Canal?
If you have one or more of these common symptoms, you may need a root canal. Heart of Texas Endodontics provides root canal treatment among other endodontic services. Our number one goal is to save your teeth, if possible, with the right procedures at the right time. We have the expertise and technology to perform a thorough root canal so that is successful the first time in most cases.
Call 254-778-4400 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.