A root canal is a fairly normal dental procedure that can create a great deal of fear in dental patients who fear they need one.
Root canals are generally talked about as one of the most daunting dental treatments and portrayed in the media as horrible, grueling procedures to be avoided at all costs.
But the truth is that a root canal itself is not a procedure that needs to be feared – it is neither as uncomfortable or time-consuming as many think.
In fact, a root canal treatment is a useful and effective technique for treating an infected tooth. Root canals can not only save a tooth from eventual extraction, but also save you discomfort and expense down the road.
Because root canals are generally easier and more comfortable to perform if they are performed before the underlying issue becomes too serious, A Plus Dental would like to share with you a couple of symptoms and signs that you should look for to tip you off that you might need to visit us and receive a root canal treatment.
The Signs You Need a Root Canal
If you are lucky (an unusual thing to say about getting a root canal!), your root canal will come early, the result of your A Plus Dental dentist, noticing something wrong with one of your teeth.
Here are some of the signs we might discover:
- No outward signs: Many times, a patient may come in for a routine visit with no signs or symptoms of a dying tooth. The dentist may notice some redness and swelling along the gum or the problem is picked up on a check-up x-ray.
- Vague signs: Patients sometimes come in with a general oral discomfort or a feeling of unwellness, and we then conduct a series of tests to determine the source and nature of the pain and the health of the pulp. An x-ray may help identify the tooth in question.
- Obvious signs: Other times a patient will come in with obvious signs of an abscessed tooth, in which case an x-ray will help determine the extent of damage.
But often we find that it is the patient who first notices symptoms that suggest a root canal may be needed. Here’s what you should look out for.
Pain is the most typical symptom. Pain can:
- Range from a slight discomfort that may come and go or an extreme pain that can continue for prolonged periods of time.
- Be a throbbing ache that makes sleeping and difficult.
- May or may not be relieved by medications depending on the severity of the damaged tooth. Medication is only a temporary solution, as the problem remains within the tooth.
- Occur while eating hot or cold foods/drinks.
- Radiate into your jaws, ears or temple areas.
- Increase or decrease as you change position.
- Happen when you bite down or press on a tooth
Darkening of the tooth caused by the dying nerve.
Swelling of the cheek, lips or face.
Pimples, bumps, or sores on the gum above the tooth. Pus may drain from the pimple and have a foul smell or unpleasant taste.
Other more general signs include:
- Swollen/red gums
- Foul taste in mouth
- Bad Breath
- Swollen neck glands
- Sinus pressure/pain
- Difficulty opening mouth
What is a Root Canal?
Your tooth’s root canal is the space within the root of a tooth under the enamel crown of the tooth and below the gum line. The tooth root is part of the tooth substructure comprised of dentin, a pulp chamber, the periodontal membrane, nerves, and blood vessels.
Is a Root Canal Painful?
People fear root canals because they assume, or have heard, that they are painful. In fact, most people report that the procedure itself is no more painful than having a filling placed.
How is a Root Canal Performed?
During the root canal procedure, the pulp, nerves, and any bacteria or decayed matter is removed from the tooth root and replaced by special dental materials. This is often covered with a tooth crown to recreate the surface of the tooth. A root canal restores the tooth to its full, normal function. Typically, a root canal requires two appointments, but this can vary according to case. Root canals can last a lifetime, but sometimes a tooth may have to be re-treated.
It All Adds Up at A Plus Dental!
Our goal at A Plus Dental is to provide our Campbelltown area patients, from infants to seniors, with caring, relaxed treatments in a calm and welcoming environment. By choosing A Plus Dental, you have taken the next step to a beautiful, healthy smile with teeth that feel great in your mouth!!
With have over 30 years of experience combined and treat each of our patients with the utmost care and respect.
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Call us at (02) 4627 3833 or visit us at Suite 3/300 Queen Street in Campbelltown.