What is a Root Canal?
Root canal therapy or treatment is applied to eliminate bacteria from a root canal that is infected in order to save the natural tooth and prevent any reinfection of the tooth. When a root canal treatment is performed, the infected or inflamed pulp is removed. Once the pulp has been removed, then the inside of the tooth is sterilized and cleaned, and afterwards it is filled and closed.
The Most Common Root Canal Symptoms
You can only be sure that you need a root canal if you visit a dentist. However, there are some symptoms you should watch out for. Some of the most common root canal symptoms include:
- Constant Pain
One of the signs that you might be in need of a root canal is constant pain. This would be pain that is bothering you all of the time or goes away sometimes but still comes back. You may feel the pain in parts other than your tooth, like your jaw, face, or your other teeth, and you also may feel it deep in the bone of your tooth. Tooth pain can indicate some other issues, like a damaged filling, a cavity, transferred pain from a sinus infection, an infected impacted tooth, or gum diseases. Whatever the case, if you feel persistent pain, it’s a good idea to have your dentist check it out.
- Discoloration of Your Tooth
Your tooth can become discolored if there is an infection in the pulp. Your teeth can give a grayish or black tone due to damage to the roots caused by a breakdown of the internal tissue or trauma to the tooth. Although tooth discoloration can be caused by other things, if your tooth is starting to change color you should see your dentist.
- Sensitivity to Heat and Cold
If you feel pain in your tooth while you’re drinking or eating something hot or cold you might need a root canal. The sensitivity can manifest itself as a sharp pain or a dull ache, and if you can feel it for a longer period of time, even after you finish drinking or earing. If you’re experiencing sensitivity to heat or cold, it might mean that the nerves in your tooth are damaged or infected.
- A Cracked or Chipped Tooth
If you have cracked or chipped your tooth by chewing on something hard, in some type of sport, or in an accident, bacteria can appear and cause an infection. Even if the tooth doesn’t crack or chip and it’s just injured, it can still damage the nerves to a point you are in need of a root canal therapy.
Some other signs that you need a root canal may include swelling or tenderness of the gums near the tooth where you feel pain, bumps that look like pimples in the area where you feel pain, and movement of the tooth.
Root Canal Procedure
The dentist will determine the need for a root canal through one or several of the following methods: x-rays, the cavity test, selective anesthesia (to identify where the source of pain is when the patient doesn’t know), thermal and electric testing, or by tapping on the problem tooth. Then, if the dentist decides that you need root canal surgery, he moves on to the states of root canal surgery that include:
- X-rays – in order to identify the damage more clearly;
- Anesthesia – the dentist will apply anesthetic so they can eliminate any pain the patient might feel;
- Placing a dental dam – to ensure that any saliva for access the area;
- Creating an opening on the tooth and then removing the infected pulp – the dentist will make a hole in your tooth remove the pulp that is infected with bacteria;
- Putting medicine on the opening – in order to remove bacteria, the dentist will medicate the internal tooth;
- Sealing the tooth shut – the opening will be shut with a permanent material; and
- Restoring the tooth – the last stage includes the dentist restoring your tooth.
The cost of the root canal procedure can vary depending on the dental professional who treats the problem and the severity of the disease.
After Getting a Root Canal
After a root canal treatment, you might be experiencing some tooth sensitivity or pain. If you are noticing any increased tooth sensitivity, you should try and use oral care products and soft-bristled toothbrushes that are specifically designed for sensitive teeth.
How to Prevent a Root Canal
A root canal can be prevented by having good dental hygiene habits that include: seeing your dentist every 6 months, brushing your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing your teeth at least once a day, and having a healthy diet with limited refined carbohydrates and sugary foods which tend to stick to your teeth.
If you’re in need of a root canal specialist in Tampa or St. Petersburg, FL, Modern Day Smiles Dentistry can help. We have been serving both the cities and there nearby areas with safe and almost pain-free root canal treatment procedure for years. The faster we diagnose your conditions, the faster we can treat you.