Extractions are often a last resort for patients suffering from severely damaged or infected teeth. Root canal treatment is often recommended by local dentists to save natural teeth. In fact, more than 15 million teeth are saved each due to root canals, according to the American Association of Endodontists.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a common dental procedure designed to save teeth and prevent the need for bridges and dental implants in the future. This procedure involves removing the soft center portion of the tooth, known as the pulp. The pulp is filled with connective tissues, blood vessels, and nerves that help the tooth grow and remain strong. However, when the pulp becomes damaged due to trauma or infection, it can cause pain and other uncomfortable symptoms.
What Symptoms Indicate that You May Need a Root Canal?
The need for root canal treatment may be sudden. In other cases, the damage may be gradual, such as when a cavity is left untreated, causing infection to build in the tooth.
While only your dentist in Clermont can provide a reliable diagnosis, there are some symptoms that could indicate the need for a root canal.
Persistent tooth pain
Although many types of dental problems can cause tooth pain, the pain of a damaged or infected tooth can be significant. This discomfort can also radiate to the teeth, jaw, and face.
Sensitivity to hot and cold
Tooth pain when you eat or drink something hot or cold could indicate the need for root canal treatment. This is especially true in instances where the pain lingers for more than a few seconds.
Swollen jaw and/or gums
If your jaw and/or gums appear swollen, it could be due to pus collecting in the area.
A tooth that appears darker than normal could be due to an infection causing poor blood supply to the tooth.
Cracked or chipped tooth
If you have a cracked or chipped tooth due to an accident, bacteria could cause an infection.
Pimple on the gums
It is not unusual to develop what looks like a pimple or boil on the gums. Pus could drain from the “pimple,” resulting in an unpleasant odor or taste in the mouth.
If you allow your infected tooth to go untreated, it could loosen over time and potentially fall out.
Depending on the severity of the tooth damage, your Clermont dental practice may recommend other treatments first. For example, a cavity may be treated with a routine filling if the decay is not too significant and has not yet entered the tooth pulp. However, a root canal could become necessary later on if the pulp becomes irritated or inflamed.
A common misconception regarding root canals is that you don’t need one if you are not experiencing tooth pain. In reality, you could not have any discomfort and still require a root canal. The purpose of a root canal is to not only reduce any pain you may be experiencing but to also eliminate any infection that has developed in the tooth pulp.
How Does a Dentist Determine If a Root Canal Is Needed?
There are several things that your dentist in Clermont FL will look at when determining whether or not you need root canal treatment. First, your dentist may perform a thorough oral examination to see if there are any visible signs of trauma, such as chips, cracks, or broken teeth. The presence of swelling or pus could also indicate an infection.
Your dentist will also ask you about what symptoms you’ve been experiencing to help narrow down the problem. Dental X-rays and similar diagnostic techniques may be used to determine where in the mouth the problem is and the extent of the damage.
Contact Hancock Village Dental
Hancock Village Dental in Clermont FL offers the latest treatments and procedures in preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry. If you are struggling with tooth-related symptoms and believe that you may need a root canal, contact our office at 352-989-5815.