When most people talk about a “Root Canal”, what they really mean is the process of having a root canal treatment. In the past, root canal treatment was thought to be an in-depth, invasive dental procedure that would leave patients running in the opposite direction. Today, things are different. Root canals are no longer viewed in the same light and have become about as routine as your average filling.
Below we will take a closer look at what a root canal is and how to know if you need one.
What is a Root Canal?
When bacteria and plaque are left to build up in crevices in your teeth, they can begin to eat their way through the tooth’s enamel. Typically, this would be caught during a routine visit to the dentist and a filling would halt it from going any further.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. So, as the bacteria continues to make its way through the tooth it will eventually come to the inner pulp area — a sensitive spot where you will find nerves and tissues. A root canal is necessary in order to remove inflammation and infection from within this inner area of the tooth.
During this procedure, the tooth pulp will be removed and the infection will be cleared out of the root canals. These canals can be very intricate which can make this a very tedious process.
Disinfectant is left behind and the tooth is sealed up — allowing the tooth to heal and no more bacteria to enter.
The tooth is usually weakened by the root canal, so the foundation is rebuilt and a custom-fit crown is placed.
Signs You May Need a Root Canal
While the best way to find out whether or not you need a root canal is by visiting your dentist for a checkup, there are a few signs you can keep an eye out for that may have you calling your dentist for an appointment.
Signs you may need a root canal include:
- Tooth pain that may be constant or intermittent (this pain can be severe)
- Teeth that are sensitive to hot and/or cold
- Tooth discoloration
- Gums that are swollen and inflamed
- Small bumps on the gums near the infected tooth
Sometimes a tooth doesn’t have any symptoms but a chronic, progressing infection may be present. This can be diagnosed with regular x-rays or a CT scan. Without seeking treatment when experiencing any of these situations, the infection will be allowed to spread even more — and this could be extremely dangerous for your oral health and your overall health.
A root canal treatment will offer relief and reduce the spread of infection.
Prevent the Need for a Root Canal
Having a good oral hygiene routine at home while seeking preventative care at your dentist are two ways you can reduce your need for a root canal.
So, what does preventive care look like?
It is brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once. Visiting your dentist every 6 months for routine cleanings and examinations will give you a chance to remove any stubborn buildup while also catching potential problem areas early — before they can progress.
Remember, root canal treatment can become necessary when bacteria and infection are given the opportunity to make their way into the tooth’s pulp. Take away their ability to do so with preventive action.
Root Canal Treatment at Creekview Dental
If you are in need of a root canal treatment or think you may need it based on the signs listed above, it is time to see the dental experts at Creekview Dental to get relief. Don’t put off your visit any longer. Dr. Haag and his team routinely perform this procedure for residents in and around the Woodbury, MN area.
To learn more or make an appointment, contact us today at 651-738-8204. Or, schedule an appointment online.