When is a root canal needed?

Root canals are needed when the soft tissue inside the root canal becomes infected or inflamed. Typically the infection is caused by either injury or bacteria. Root canals are performed to help save a tooth, and this procedure is one of the most common dental procedures done today. If the root canal is not addressed immediately, the infection can get worse, and cause more serious health problems.

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How do I know if I need a root canal?

There are symptoms of needing a root canal patients can look out for to alert them that something is wrong. In some cases, patients do not have any symptoms at all, and the issue is found during a dental exam in our office. Root canals should always be address immediately to avoid serious complications, so we encourage all patients to call our office if they notice any symptoms.

Symptoms you may need a root canal:

  • Pain in or around the tooth area
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Pain while chewing food
  • Tooth injury
  • Swelling in or around the gums or teeth
  • Jaw is tender to the touch

What is the process for getting a root canal?

Root canals typically take one or two appointments, and this depends on the severity of the infection. The root canal procedure is straight forward, and local anesthesia is used to keep patients relaxed and minimize pain.

During the root canal procedure the infected pulp is removed, and the area is cleaned out thoroughly. Once this is done, the area is sealed and filled to keep bacteria out. Temporary crowns may be placed over the tooth while you wait for a custom crown to be installed. In some cases, same day crowns can be made for patients, so there is no need for a temporary crown.

Recovery is minimal and patients should only experience some pain or sensitivity a few days after the procedure. This should subside after a few days, and patients can return to normal activity. Our team will discuss an at home recovery and care plan with each patient. We recommend keeping the area clean using good oral hygiene habits at home.

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If you are interested in finding out more about our root canal procedures or are experiencing symptoms that may indicate you need a root canal, please contact our office to schedule an appointment.