If the nerve of a tooth is damaged by decay or infection, you may need to get a root canal. This is an alternative to surgical teeth removal that may save an otherwise healthy tooth in your mouth. Treatment through a root canal can be highly successful, but it is not the best option for everyone. Today, we will take a closer look at what a root canal is and how it works so you can answer the question, “Do I need a root canal?”
What Is A Root Canal?
A root canal is a form of dental surgery that removes the pulp, nerves, decay, and bacteria of a tooth after it has been damaged. The structure of the tooth still remains intact, but the insides of it are removed. The resulting gap is filled with specially medicated materials that allow the tooth to function like normal. Then the tooth is capped with a dental crown so that you can chew and bite down without hurting your filling.
Why People Get Root Canals
In most cases, a root canal will be necessary because of long-term decay of a tooth. For instance, if you had a cavity that was once filled and the filling fell out, the tooth may need a more aggressive treatment method than a basic filling will provide. Other reasons may include injury or trauma to the tooth, infection inside the tooth or at the tip of the roots, or deep decay that has infected the pulp.
Common Signs You May Need A Root Canal
- Dental Sensitivity
- Gum Abscesses
- Severe Toothache
- Gum Swelling
- Difficulty Eating
Note that some patients experience no symptoms at all prior to needing a root canal. If the nerve in your tooth is not exposed or sensitive to temperature changes, chewing, fluids, etc., then you may not know that you need a root canal. Your dentist will be able to determine if this is the right path for you.
How To Find Out If You Need A Root Canal
The best way to determine if a root canal is right for you is to visit a dentist. During your semi-annual dental exams, your dentist will most likely take an x-ray of your teeth to assess the current status of your oral health. If there are any noticeable problems, including cavities, areas of decay, or warning signs of a root canal, he will let you know at that time.