Root canal treatments are fairly common. The procedure is used to repair a badly damaged tooth that may also be infected. If cavities go untreated, it's common for the decay to progress significantly and reach the inner area of your tooth, causing an infection there.
The procedure for root canals is more extensive than filling a cavity as well. Your dentist will first administer an anesthetic to ensure that you don't experience any pain during the treatment. An access hole is then drilled into the tooth so that your dentist can reach the inner portion of your tooth. Then, your dentist will use a series of files to remove the pulp, nerves, and decay from the inside of your tooth. After thoroughly cleaning the inside of your tooth, your dentist will begin to fill the area. Lastly, you'll need a crown placed on top of your affected tooth to protect it.
How Do I Know If I Need a Root Canal?
While the only sure way to know if a root canal is needed is to visit the dentist for an evaluation, there are some signs that you may need the treatment. Here are some things you can look out for:
- Pain: This is the most common sign of a root canal. If the decay on a tooth reaches the inside area, it can cause an infection that inflames the pulp on the inside of your tooth. With nowhere for the inflammation to go, this causes a great deal of pressure and pain in the tooth. If your tooth is infected, your dentist may have you take antibiotics to help reduce the infection pain before your procedure.
- Sensitivity: An infected tooth may also cause a higher sensitivity to hot and cold. If you start experiencing a higher sensitivity in one area of your mouth, it's a sign that you need to visit your dentist for an exam.
- Swelling: If your gums are swelling in a certain area, this can be a sign of an infected tooth as well. It may also be a sign of an abscess, which can commonly form near a tooth with severe decay.
While these are some signs that can be associated with a root canal, they can also be signs of other dental issues, so it's important to visit the dentist for a full evaluation.
Root Canals in Pikesville MD
The best way to prevent the need for a root canal is to visit your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups and to keep up with your at-home care. Visiting the dentist for those cleanings every 6 months is considerably easier and more affordable than a root canal treatment, so it's well worth it! if you have any questions, or if you'd like to schedule an appointment, give us a call today, at Naylors Court Dental Partners!