Pain from a toothache can make everyday activities difficult and can even affect your mood. As the pain persists, you may start to wonder if you need a root canal. A root canal treatment becomes necessary when the pulp of the tooth is infected or inflamed. This can happen due to cracks and chips, deep decay, trauma to the tooth, a deep cavity, and repeated dental procedures on the same tooth.
Pulp inflammation or infection can be very painful and should be looked at by a dentist right away. The longer you put it off, the more likely you are to form an abscess. You want to prevent an abscess from forming because it can also cause severe pain by damaging the pulp, as well as the bone around it.
Signs you need a root canal
One of the first signs people notice is a toothache. However, the pain may not be consistent. For example, it may only be triggered by hot and cold foods or when laying down versus standing up. Your dentist will review the pain with you and do thorough testing to ensure a root canal is the best treatment. Other signs include:
- Discoloration of the tooth
- Tenderness and swelling around the gums
- Drainage from infection
- Lingering pain
If caught early enough, you may not go through any of the signs that you need a root canal. When you go in for routine cleanings or schedule a periodic checkup for a particular tooth that is cracked or weak, your dentist can stay ahead of the damage.
What to expect from a root canal treatment
A root canal treatment is designed to preserve the tooth and save the natural structure of it so that you can chew food properly and you don’t have a gap in your smile. During a root canal, the dentist removes the pulp that is infected or inflamed. They clean the inside of the tooth and close off the infection by sealing it. You’ll then need to have a crown placed over the tooth to protect from everyday wear such as chewing food.
The process generally takes a few hours, and in some cases, the root canal treatment can be completed in one appointment while in others it takes a few visits.
Consider all of your options
Of course, you should consider all of the dental treatments available. Dental implants are becoming a popular alternative to root canals because they last longer and they are just as durable (and attractive) as your natural teeth. Speak with a dentist about the dental treatments that correct the tooth to ensure you choose the best one for your goals.
If you are suffering from a toothache, call 703-596-8159 or click now to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ansari at Lowes Island Dentistry, and we’ll review the treatments that relieve the pain, improve oral health, and enhance your smile.