When is a Root Canal Needed?
A root canal is a procedure that is performed to fix a tooth with a compromised pulp. The pulp is the soft tissue in a tooth's core, and it houses blood vessels and nerves. It is protected from bacteria by the outer parts of a tooth, but these can be damaged by trauma or tooth decay. When this occurs, the bacteria are able to attack the pulp leading to an infection. This leads to some rather painful symptoms that prompt most people to make an emergency trip to a dentist.
Signs a root canal should be performed
Here are some of the signs that a person needs a root canal:
1. Extreme toothache
There are various levels of toothaches, and those caused by a compromised pulp chamber are some of the worst. The pain shoots right through the person's jawbone and makes it impossible to get any sleep. Most over-the-counter oral pain relievers do not do much for this type of toothache. It might get the person relief for a few minutes, then it is back to square one.
Fortunately, a root canal brings this nightmare to an end. By the time the anesthetic wears off, the pain is gone and the patient is free to resume their daily activities. Root canals are so effective at bringing an end to the pain that most people who have one end up being mad at themselves for not going to the dentist earlier.
2. A pimple on the gums
Bumps on the gums are normal, but pimples are not. A pimple forming on a person's gums is often a sign that a tooth has been infected. If that is the case, a root canal is the standard treatment unless the infection has made its way to the tooth's roots. In that scenario, the dentist might decide to extract the tooth instead to prevent the infection from spreading. The dentist will advise the patient to replace the extracted tooth with a prosthetic like a dental implant, bridge or partial dentures.
3. Swollen gums
When the gums around a tooth are swollen, that is typically an indication that root canal therapy is needed. This swelling will stay there until the tooth has been treated. It is sometimes accompanied by pain.
4. Sensitivity to cold and hot drinks/food
Sensitivity to extreme temperatures is sometimes a sign a root canal is needed. It can also be a sign of damage caused by consuming too many acidic foods or brushing too hard. If the increased sensitivity is being caused by an infection or compromised pulp chamber, a root canal should bring an end to it.
5. A tooth is discolored
There are many things that can discolor a person's teeth, like drinking lots of cola or coffee. However, an infection will also cause a tooth to darken. It typically gives it a dark greyish color. A root canal will not change the color of the tooth, but it will stop the infection. Teeth are normally covered up with crowns after root canals, so the appearance of the tooth will be restored when the procedure is over.
Dealing with any of these issues?
Stop by our San Antonio office if you have any of the symptoms listed above. Our dentist will perform the procedure and improve the appearance of your tooth with a crown. We offer emergency dental services so you get the treatment you need immediately.
Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.
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