Do I Really Need A Root Canal?
Do I Need a Root Canal Treatment?
When people hear the words root canal, they often visualize a patient sitting in the dentist’s chair, experiencing pain and discomfort as the dentist goes about the procedure. This popular image is the reason why some people would say “I’d rather have root canal than (do some other random thing I really don’t want to do).”
On the contrary, people must be helped to understand that root canal is actually a procedure that can provide relief from an existing pain in the mouth. While the treatment can cause some level of soreness—like most dental treatments can—once healed, the result is the absence of pain, a much healthier mouth, and greater ease and comfort in eating and speaking.
Are you currently wondering, Do I need a root canal treatment? Here are important things you need to know about this beneficial dental procedure.
What is it?
In the hollow part of the center of a tooth, there is a soft substance made up of blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue, called the pulp. The pulp chamber (that hollow area) goes on down through canals that reach the tooth’s roots and the surrounding bone. When the pulp inside the chamber becomes infected, inflamed or dead, the pulp is removed, and then the pulp chamber as well as the canals are filled and sealed to prevent the entry of bacteria. This procedure is called root canal treatment or endodontic treatment.
When should a person undergo this treatment?
There are a number of symptoms of tooth pulp or nerve damage that can help a dentist pinpoint whether a root canal treatment is the best solution available for a patient’s specific condition:
Pain. Toothaches are quite common, but if the pain from the living tooth is mostly described as a sensitivity to heat or cold which continues even after the hot or cold stimulus is no longer present, a root canal is a must.
Abscess. If the tooth is dead, on the other hand, and there is an abscess that is possibly causing bleeding or swelling around a tooth, the person will feel pain every time pressure is directed on the tooth. This is also a sign that root canal is necessary.
In this case, a pocket of pus forms around the end of a tooth root or on the outside of the gums—it will look like a pimple from which pus drains.
Severe cavities. If you have tooth decay that has extended to the pulp, a root canal is needed to remove the infected pulp and affected nerves.
Fracture or trauma. When a tooth experiences a fracture that goes deep into the tooth, affecting the pulp and leaving too little teeth above the gumline to make a crown useful, root canal is recommended. During the procedure, a post will be placed down the tooth canal, and this can help restore the fractured tooth.
Likewise, great force trauma can sever and kill the nerve at the end of a tooth’s root. Root canal can help clean out the dead nerve.
Excessive dental procedures. If you have been repeatedly getting treatment for a particular tooth, the constant stress can cause inflammation of the pulp.
Your dentist knows best
If you have observed similar symptoms, pay a visit to your dentist. He or she will take X-rays and perform a pulp test to check your response and determine if root canal treatment is the best recommendation.