Tooth pain is often a sign of serious issues with your teeth, which may include a root canal. Root canals are performed when the nerve of the pulp of the tooth becomes infected and inflamed due to dental decay, a cracked or broken tooth, or an injury to the tooth. Knowing more about this procedure can help you understand it better and determine if it’s time to see a dentist.
Causes of Root Canals
A root canal is a dental procedure that involves taking the infected pulp and other material out of a tooth to ease pain and lower the risk of serious infections. You might need a root canal if you have any of the following problems with your teeth:
Severe Tooth Decay
Decay that reaches the outer parts of your tooth can cause serious pain.
A damaged tooth, such as a tooth that is cracked or broken, can lead to a higher risk of decay and pain in the tooth pulp.
Having an infection in the tooth pulp can occur due to injuries, decay, dental work and damage.
Common Signs for Root Canal
If you have one or more of the following signs, your dentist might recommend having this procedure done:
- Severe pain in the affected tooth or teeth, such as when you bite down
- A tiny bump on your gums near the affected teeth
- Gum swelling near the affected teeth
- Increased sensitivity to hot or cold, especially if this sensation lingers for a while
- Teeth that appear darker than normal
What to Expect from a Root Canal
This procedure involves several steps to complete, which starts with having X-rays taken to find out how severe your infection is. Once this is done, your dentist will do the following:
- Give you a local anesthetic, so that you won’t feel anything during the procedure
- Drill a hole in the affected tooth and take out infected material, including the tooth pulp
- Place a temporary filling on your tooth or seal it up to lower the risk of infection as your tooth heals
- Put a crown or filling on or in your tooth to complete the procedure and prevent infections from occurring again
After you have a root canal, you will need to follow your dentist’s instructions for taking care of the tooth. You might have some discomfort or increased sensitivity at first. Your dentist will provide you with detailed instructions on how to make sure that your tooth heals properly. When a week or so has gone by, you can expect to see your dentist again to have a dental crown placed on your tooth.
Preventing Root Canals
By taking good care of your teeth is the best way to prevent root canals. This means brushing and flossing them on a regular basis and seeing your dentist twice a year for dental cleanings and exams. Avoiding sugary or starchy foods can also help lower your risk of tooth decay that could lead to a root canal.
If you have any symptoms of a root canal or need regular dental care, make an appointment today with Central Avenue Dental of Manhattan and Valley Stream, NY. We offer a full range of quality dental services delivered with personalized care.