Wondering how do you know if you need a root canal? Read our article and learn seven telltale signs that you might need to pay a visit to the dentist.
Toothaches are as excruciatingly painful as they are common. An outstanding 90% of adults in the US have tooth decay that causes toothaches.
Many people throw around the term root canal in the event of the slightest sign of a toothache. It’s highly unlikely for the average person to determine when they need a root canal. That said, your best bet in knowing whether you need one is seeing the dentist.
So how do you know if you need a root canal? A root canal is way different from a dental filling. While you can easily tell you need a filling, a root canal is a very different case.
It’s not easy to tell whether you need a root canal. There are, however, some telltale signs that you need a root canal. Read on to find out seven indicators that you made need a root canal.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure that eliminates bacteria from the root of the tooth. The procedure is very delicate, and only a professional can undertake it.
That said, the procedure is very straightforward and won’t take more than half an hour. The dentist carefully removes the pulp of the infected tooth. Next, the dentist cleans and disinfects the tooth.
A root canal ensures the tooth doesn’t get reinfected. It also saves the natural tooth from requiring replacement or removal.
What Takes Place During a Root Canal?
The procedure is virtually painless and doesn’t take long. After the procedure, you’ll have relief from the pain and a healthy tooth. The procedure usually requires two sessions to be complete.
- First, the dentist administers local anesthesia using a needle. The needle is pretty small, so you don’t have to worry. You’ll feel a slight pinch before the area around the tooth numbs.
- The doctor then places a dental dam on the infected tooth. This procedure is not mandatory.
- Next, the dentist creates a small opening on the top of the tooth. The dentist uses a very small drill to do so. In doing so, he gets access to the inner parts of the tooth.
- The dentist then clears the damaged pulp and debris from inside the tooth with a small file. This step is the basis of a root canal.
- With the same file, the doctor may also shape your tooth’s inner chamber. They’ll then use pressurized water to irrigate the chamber and remove any remaining pulp.
- The dentist might also wash the chamber with an anti-bacterial solution to disinfect the inner tooth.
- After the dentist thoroughly cleans the tooth. They proceed to fill the now disinfected tooth. The dentist uses a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. A temporary filling is then used to close the opening.
- After a few weeks, you come back to the dentist for a permanent crown. This permanently seals the opening on top of your tooth.
- The dentist may place a post to support the crown in the chamber. This step happens for badly damaged teeth.
After the procedure, it is important to take good care of your teeth. Maintain a good oral hygiene routine and visit your doctor at least once every six months. Even without a root canal, it’s very important to visit your dentist regularly.
How Do You Know If You Need a Root Canal: Here Are Seven Signs
Getting a root canal is a scary prospect for some people. With the right dentists, however, the procedure is painless and fast.
Telling when you need a root canal isn’t as easy as you think. Wrong diagnoses are pretty common without help from a professional. On the flip side, it’s also easy to overlook subtle signs that you need a root canal.
Not every toothache needs a tooth canal procedure. That said, it remains important to schedule regular dentist visits. Some signs aren’t too obvious and only show up at advanced stages of a tooth infection.
Here are seven things that tell you it’s time for a root canal.
1. Persistent Pain
Among the most pronounced root canal symptoms is a persistent toothache. Hold your horses. Though, pain doesn’t necessarily mean you need a root canal. Pain does, however, warrant a dentist visit.
Most toothaches are unbearable, and you can’t ignore them. Most OTC painkillers barely work and aren’t too good for your liver too. You are better off having a dentist check it out once and for all.
Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. If you feel sharp, intense pain while eating, then see your dentist asap. If eating becomes difficult because of pain, then do the same.
2. Temperature Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity isn’t uncommon to even people with healthy teeth. While tooth sensitivity is normal, there are some exceptional cases.
When sensitivity gradually increases with time, then something’s wrong. Sensitivity may morph into sharp, acute pain, which is a cause for alarm.
Infected teeth have sensitive nerves. This nerve sensitivity makes consuming even slightly hot or cold food very painful. When your teeth are overly sensitive, you may need a root canal.
Teeth sensitivity also shouldn’t last for weeks or months without improving. If it does, you may have a nerve infection beneath.
Sensitivity from a damaged tooth never goes away with brushing. For a permanent solution, consider a root canal.
3. Tooth Discoloration
Don’t you hate it when your pearly whites aren’t so white? Teeth stains may permeate to the nerve of your tooth.
Tooth discoloration may be an indicator of nerve damage. So when your teeth get stained, you could be heading for a tooth canal.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to fix teeth discoloration. You can have a root canal while you’re at it. You’re, however, better off getting the root canal first before fixing the discoloration.
4. Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is common with children and teenagers. Decay is common because kids love to indulge in sugary treats. They also aren’t very keen about their oral hygiene.
Decay is still somewhat common with adults. Neglecting oral hygiene and habits like smoking and drinking are common causes. Some adults also have a penchant for the sugary stuff, hence the tooth decay.
No amount of brushing can salvage a badly decayed tooth. When the decay reaches the nerves, then you’ll need a root canal.
5. Swollen Gums
Swollen gums that are sensitive to touch need special attention. Never ignore swollen gums or a bump in your gums.
Gum swelling might underscore problems with nerves beneath the gums. As such, it is important to have your gums examined. Doing so will determine the cause of the swelling.
If the gums hurt because of damage to the nerve, then you’ll need a root canal. A root canal may also be necessary if your swollen gums don’t improve with time.
6. Chipped or Cracked Tooth
A chipped tooth isn’t a pretty sight. Apart from social awkwardness, you also have to worry about intense pain. What’s more, it can expose the nerve to infections.
You should address the nerve infection. The bacteria infecting the teeth may spread through the blood vessels in the nerves. This spread may lead to other complications if not checked soon enough.
7. Too many Dental Procedures
Some people don’t have the healthiest set of teeth. For this reason, they may have had one too many dental procedures on their teeth.
While there’s nothing wrong with that, too many procedures may be bad. Teeth are pretty strong structurally. Despite their strength, they still can be worn out.
After too many procedures, your teeth may eventually give in to wear. A lot of dental procedures increase your risk for a root canal treatment.
Some dentists may conduct dental procedures improperly. If that happens, you are at a greater risk of needing a root canal.
It is, therefore important to only have the best professional dentists look at your teeth. In the end, one bad dentist appointment may lead to five more appointments. So be careful when choosing a personal dentist.
Don’t Risk It!
If you suspect you need special attention for your teeth, don’t wait up. Now you know what to look out for for a root canal procedure. An injured tooth is a one-way ticket to a root canal.
In case of any of these root canal symptoms, don’t wait until it’s too late. When it’s too late, you can’t salvage your tooth and you’ll have to remove it.
Always remember to get a certified dentist procedure or even check-up. There are plenty of quacks out there who’ll worsen things and leave your pockets dry.
Get a Root Canal Today
So how do you know if you need a root canal? Hopefully, this piece has given you the root canal symptoms.
If you need a quick and expertly done root canal, then book an appointment with us today. You won’t be disappointed.