Has one tooth been hurting each time you take a sip of coffee? Does the pain last for an hour or more? Take a look in the mirror at the gum around the tooth. Is the area swollen? If so, you may need a root canal. Here are a few details about this endodontic procedure:
What Are the Indications that a Root Canal May Be Necessary?
Everyone has sensitive teeth at one time or another. You know the feeling. You flinch when eating ice cream or drinking a cup of hot tea. Nevertheless, if the pain lasts more than a few minutes, the nerve in your tooth may be inflamed, and you need to schedule an appointment with your dentist.
If the dental nerve is damaged, over time, the tooth may darken, and the gum around it may swell. Sometimes, a pimple-like bump, which is actually an abscess, develops on the gum next to the infected tooth.
Why Do You Need a Root Canal?
A root canal alleviates the pain caused by the inflamed dental nerve and preserves the tooth so you can avoid having it extracted. In addition, it helps eliminate the dental infection that may have caused the inflammation.
How Are They Done?
Your dentist will take x-rays of your mouth to locate the infection. Once the need for a root canal is confirmed by the x-rays, the dentist will drill into the crown of the infected tooth and remove the pulp, which is the soft living tissue inside the tooth.
Next, he or she will disinfect the canals of the tooth. After the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, your dentist will fill the tooth and seal it.
In addition, your dentist may make a mold of your tooth from which a permanent crown can be created. A temporary crown may be placed until your permanent crown is back from the laboratory.
Why a Crown?
A crown helps protect the tooth and fortify it structurally. Once the pulp is removed, the brittle shell of the tooth may be more prone to cracking and breakage.
What Happens After the Procedure?
Most patients who undergo a root canal do not have pain after the procedure. However, you may experience some soreness. That is normal, so don't be alarmed. Keep your head elevated for the first few nights after the procedure and promptly relay any concerns to your dentist.
If you are experience symptoms that indicate you may need a root canal, contact an oral surgeon like Miller Kenneth G in your area to schedule an appointment.