Signs and Symptoms: Do I Need a Root Canal?

root canal

A root canal is a dental procedure that involves cleaning the decay in the tooth. The procedure targets the decay in the pulp and root of the tooth. Teeth have an outer enamel layer, a second dentin layer, and a soft inner core.

The core extends to the root of the tooth in the jawbone and contains dental pulp. The pulp consists of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. When decay gets to the core, it can cause the pulp to become infected, inflamed, or even dead. A root canal is necessary to clean the decay.

A Root Canal Procedure

A root canal can be performed by a general dentist or an endodontist. The root canal treatment involves the process of cleaning decay while preserving the affected tooth. During the procedure, the dentist will extract decay and bacteria from the tooth nerve, pulp, and root.

The dentist will then disinfect the area using antibiotics before filling up the empty roots. Finally, the dentist will seal the tooth to prevent new decay. The procedure leaves the natural tooth intact while preventing further decay. It does, however, leave the tooth more fragile than before.

Do You Need a Root Canal?

A root canal is necessary when the pulp or soft tissue becomes infected or inflamed. This can be due to different reasons, including severe decay, injury to the tooth, and having several dental procedures.

A tooth injury can cause pulp damage even when there are no visible cracks or chips. If left untreated, pulp infection or inflammation can cause pain or result in an abscess. The only way to confirm if you require a root canal is by visiting your dentist.

Understanding the Symptoms

Some signs can indicate that you need a root canal. The symptoms include persistent tooth pain, sensitivity to cold and heat, tooth discoloration, and swollen gums. Other symptoms include a cracked or chipped tooth, pain when you touch the tooth or when eating, and tooth mobility.

An infected tooth will often feel loose. These symptoms may be due to other factors, so it is important to visit the dentist for a proper diagnosis.

How Root Canal Saves the Tooth

The dentist will remove the infected or inflamed pulp before carefully cleaning and shaping the root canal. Filling and sealing the space will restore the shape of the tooth. Later, the dentist can place a crown or another type of restoration on the tooth.

This is done to protect the tooth and restore it to proper function. After the restoration, the tooth will continue to function effectively like other teeth.

After Root Canal Procedure

Avoid chewing or biting on the tooth before the dentist restores it. When unrestored, the tooth can fracture easily. Getting the full restoration as soon as possible is important. You should also maintain good oral hygiene throughout.

If the tooth fails to heal completely or if pain returns after treatment, redoing the procedure is necessary. This can happen even years after the initial treatment. A tooth treated with a root canal should last as long as any other tooth.

To find out if you need a root canal, visit Eagle Gate Dental at our office in Salt Lake City, Utah. You can call 801-781-5300 today to schedule an appointment.