Many patients visiting a general dentist do not fully understand the use of dental X-rays. Patients may wonder if this type of imaging is completely necessary, and it is important to understand the risks and benefits of the procedure. Dental X-ray exposure is safer than ever before, and when patients are knowledgeable about the procedure,…
When Is a Root Canal Recommended?
A root canal is often necessary to preserve the long-term health of the tooth and prevent tooth loss, the spread of oral infection and other concerns. It is helpful to have a complete understanding of when and why a dentist may recommend a root canal and the importance of the procedure, so read on to learn more about root canals.
An overview of root canal therapy
Dentists often prefer less invasive treatments such as dental fillings when possible, but there are times when a root canal is the best way to treat oral health issues. The following is everything to know about when a dentist might recommend a root canal, including insights into what to expect during and after treatment.
Root canals explained
A root canal is a dental procedure performed to remove infected or damaged dental pulp inside the root of a tooth. It is performed to treat the following:
- Tooth infection
- Abscessed tooth
- Deep dental cavity
- Severe tooth damage
There may be other reasons why a dentist would recommend root canal therapy. It is important as the infection can spread to other parts of the mouth, leading to more severe symptoms such as fever and other general illness symptoms. The tooth is also in jeopardy when there is severe damage or an infection, and it may become lost without root canal therapy.
Signs you may need a root canal
Minor concerns may not require a root canal, and dentists may try and avoid a root canal, if possible. However, there are times when a root canal is the best option. Symptoms that could indicate that a root canal is necessary may include:
- Chips and cracks
- Pain while eating
- Tooth sensitivity
- Deep decay
- Gum complications
Minor chips and cracks that do not affect the root of the tooth typically do not require a root canal, but severe chips and cracks might. Symptoms that may indicate a tooth infection are present include tooth sensitivity to hot or cold sensations, pain while eating and swollen gums. Deep decay often requires a root canal, as well.
What to expect during a root canal treatment
Patients typically do not experience much discomfort during a root canal. The process involves accessing the pulp chamber, removing the infected pulp and cleaning the area and filling the cavity. The dentist may also recommend a dental crown to protect the tooth long term following the procedure. They may place a temporary filling or temporary dental crown until the permanent crown is ready.
Root canal aftercare tips
There will likely be some discomfort that exists for several days to a week after a root canal procedure. The symptoms should be tolerable; be sure to visit a dentist if symptoms worsen. To care for your oral health after treatment, be sure to brush regularly, floss, use mouthwash and limit your sugar intake.
Do you currently need a root canal?
Reach out to our friendly team today to learn more about root canal therapy. We help patients through the entire root canal process, and we can determine if a root canal is recommended during a consultation visit.
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