3 Signs Your Tooth May Need a Root Canal

Root Canal Bellevue, WA

You may dread the thought of having a root canal, but it may be necessary. A filling or composite bonding might address minor or moderate cavities. However, if you are experiencing severe, consistent pain in your teeth, these treatments may not be enough to restore the affected tooth. Endodontic treatment is a method where your dentist will remove the pulp, along with decay, in this chamber. Fortunately, there are clues to help you know whether you may require a root canal.

The diagnosis

Some dentists choose to make a root canal a multi-appointment process. On the first visit, the root canal professional will do a thorough examination of the patient’s mouth. This will include a hands-on exam as well as X-rays. From these methods, the dentist will determine whether there is decay or infection in the pulp. The dentist can also decide that endodontic work will be the right tactic to restore the tooth and keep the problems from spreading to other teeth.

How the procedure works

After the examination and diagnosis (sometimes immediately after, sometimes on a subsequent appointment), the dentist will numb the patient’s mouth. Though the nerves may be dead, the local anesthetic may help calm the patient and ease nervousness. The root canal professional will then drill into the tooth down into the pulp chamber. This will be removed, along with infection and significant decay. The rest of the process is as follows:


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  • Sealing of the tooth
  • Placement of a crown or cap, if necessary
  • Testing to make sure the patient can bite normally

First sign the patient needs a root canal: pain

It is not unusual for a person to experience a toothache. This sensation happens to most people at one time or another. The intensity and duration of the pain are what should concern a person. Patients who have constant, excruciating pain in any part of a tooth should call a dentist to discuss the problem.

Second sign: sensitivity

Intolerance to hot or cold is another signal that a person may need endodontic treatment. When a person eats a hot or spicy meal or drinks an ice-cold beverage, healthy teeth should be able to handle the extremes. However, if there is damage to the roots or nerves in a tooth, these sensations could be unbearable. People should pay close attention when they feel an aversion to hot or cold items.

Third sign: swollen or tender gums

A common clue that a person needs endodontic treatment lies in nearby gums. If these are red or tender to the touch, the patient may need a root canal. The infection from the tooth can spread throughout the area. It is important to stop this from affecting additional teeth.

Benefits of a root canal treatment

Severe tooth pain may be a sign that a person needs a root canal treatment. Also known as endodontic therapy, this treatment can resolve the pain. The procedure will remove the damaged or infected pulp. Then the dentist will fill the tooth with gutta-percha and place a crown over it. Getting a root canal can bring the following benefits:

  • It enhances the appearance of teeth. Aside from ending the discomfort, the treatment could improve the way the tooth looks because of the protective crown that goes over the treated tooth.
  • It prevents tooth loss. Severe dental damage often results in intense tooth pain. Most people want to have a tooth extraction to end the discomfort. But dentists want to save teeth as much as possible. A root canal can end the pain and prevent dental extraction as well.
  • It prevents the jawbone from shrinking. A severe dental infection can result in dental extraction. Without a tooth, there will be nothing to stimulate the jawbone. There would be nothing to signal the body to send the jawbone nutrients for tissue repair. Root canal therapy can keep the tooth intact. This would keep the nutrients coming in to maintain the thickness of the jawbone.
  • It prevents dental shifting. Tooth loss can make the neighboring teeth move into the vacant dental space. A root canal treatment can prevent tooth loss. A tooth that stays in place can maintain the dental space and prevent the neighboring teeth from shifting.

The time is now

Oral care is essential for overall health and wellness. You should not let tooth pain persist. You also do not need to live with this discomfort any longer. Call your dentist today and discuss your concerns. You can soon find relief from infection and significant decay.

Request an appointment here: https://artisandentalbellevue.com or call Artisan Dental Bellevue at (425) 454-2005 for an appointment in our Bellevue office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Root Canal Treatment in Bellevue, WA.

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