A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. During a root canal procedure, the damaged or infected tooth pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. If the decay or infection is left untreated, it can spread to the surrounding teeth and cause further damage. In some cases, a root canal may be required to save a tooth that has been injured or is at risk of being lost.
The Truth About Root Canals
There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding root canals. Some people believe that root canals are painful, but this is not true. In most cases, root canal procedures are no more painful than routine dental fillings. If you think you may need a root canal, it is important to see your dentist as soon as possible. Early treatment can help to prevent the need for more extensive and expensive procedures in the future. Your dentist will be able to tell you if you will benefit from root canal treatment or not.
When Is a Root Canal Necessary?
Root canals are usually necessary when the pulp (the soft tissue inside the tooth) becomes damaged or infected. This can happen due to:
• Decay – When teeth are not properly cleaned, plaque and tartar can build up and cause the tooth to decay.
• Injury – A crack or chip in the tooth can damage the pulp.
• Infection – Bacteria can enter the pulp through a crack or chip in the tooth and cause an infection.
If the pulp is damaged or infected, it can cause pain or sensitivity. In some cases, there may be no symptoms at all. If left untreated, the damage can spread and lead to an abscess (a collection of pus).
Root canals are generally considered to be a safe and effective treatment. In most cases, the procedure can be completed in one or two visits to the dentist.
After a root canal, it is important to protect the tooth with a filling or crown. Without this, the tooth is at risk of breaking or being re-infected.
Signs You Need a Root Canal
If you’re experiencing any of the following signs, you may need a root canal:
1. Severe toothache that doesn’t go away
2. Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures that lingers long after the stimulus is gone
3. Darkening of the tooth
4. Swelling or tenderness in the gums around the tooth
5. A small bump on the gum line near the affected tooth
If you’re experiencing any of these signs, it’s important to see a dentist right away. While root canals are often thought of as being painful, the procedure is actually quite comfortable and can relieve the pain and sensitivity you’re experiencing.
If you are facing any of the signs mentioned above, it is important to consult with a dentist to determine the best course of action. With early treatment, the chances are good that the tooth can be saved using root canal treatment.
If you think you need to get a root canal, or if you have any questions about the procedure, talk to one of the professionals at Southborough Dental Partners. We offer a wide variety of dental treatments including root canal treatment. Contact us and we will be happy to answer any inquiries you have.