The beginning of the year is a time when many people pledge to take better care of their health. If you have been having lingering tooth pain or sensitivity and you are wondering if you need to plan on having a root canal during 2018, here is a brief guide to help you understand what symptoms may indicate that an evaluation of your condition is in order, and what steps are involved in a root canal procedure.
Symptoms That May Indicate You Need A Root Canal
A root canal is a dental procedure that preserves a natural tooth that has had its pulp damaged by injury or disease. Some symptoms that may indicate that you need a root canal include:
- Serious tooth pain when eating or when pressure is placed on the area
- Sensitivity to hot and cold that lingers when the hot/cold stimulus is removed
- A pimple-like bump on the gums near the area of the painful tooth
- Darkening of the tooth’s appearance
- Tenderness or swelling of gum tissue in the area
If you have any of these symptoms, consult with your endodontist or general dentist immediately.
Root Canal 101
If your dental provider decides you need a root canal, here are the basic steps that will be followed during the procedure.
- Your endodontist will use local anesthetic to numb the area that has been impacted and will isolate the tooth with a rubber dam.
- An access hole will be drilled in the affected tooth, and the damaged nerve and pulp tissue will be removed.
- The canal in the tooth will be filled with a special rubber compound and a temporary filling will be used to seal it.
- After the canal is filled and sealed with the temporary filling, you will be required to have a permanent crown placed on the tooth to finish the root canal restoration process.
“Root canals are safe and effective. About 95 percent of the time, they can preserve a person’s natural tooth for their lifetime,” says Dr. Susan L. Wood, who practices with the Phoenix Endodontic Group. “Don’t hesitate to call your dental provider for an examination or a referral if you think you may need a root canal.”