When Do You Need a Root Canal?

You probably never imagined yourself typing “dentists that do root canals near me” in search engine sites but here you are, in extreme pain, desperate, for answers.  

Root canal therapy is a procedure recommended for patients who have developed an infection in the center of their tooth. If your dentist finds that your tooth can still be saved, they will do it. Not all dental problems are solved with an extraction.  

Dentists will do everything they can to preserve your natural teeth. When do dentists decide that root canal therapy is what you need?

Diagram dentist that do root canals near me

What Are the Signs You Need Root Canal Therapy?

What Is Root Canal Therapy?

Root canal therapy is performed by either a dentist or an endodontist. An endodontist specializes in diagnosing, preventing, and treating diseases of the dental pulp. The dental pulp is the area within your tooth that contains connective tissues, blood vessels, and nerves. Root canal therapy may be needed when bacteria penetrate the dental pulp and cause an infection.

After administering local anesthesia to the area, your dentist will drill your tooth to access the pulp. The decayed pulp is removed, and the chamber is disinfected.  

Your dentist will scrape and scrub all sides of the chamber to ensure it’s bacteria-free. It is then flushed with sodium hypochlorite or water. Once it is clean, your dentist will fill the area with gutta-percha and seal it off to restore your tooth’s full function. Sometimes dentists will place a crown over the tooth to prevent it from breaking.  

How Do You Know if You Need a Root Canal?

Chipped or Cracked Tooth

While it’s true that your tooth’s enamel is considered the hardest tissue in your body, much stronger than bone, it can still chip or crack under intense pressure. You can accidentally chip or fracture your tooth if you bite into something hard or engage in contact sports.  

If the crack or chip is extensive and the nerves inside the tooth are already showing, it’s only a matter of time before an infection can set in. The goal is to stop the infection from spreading. Root canal therapy can do just that.  

Sensitivity to Heat and Cold

A sign that you might need root canal therapy is sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks. You should have your mouth checked immediately if you experience tooth pain when you drink something hot like coffee or tea or eat ice cream.  

Another sign that indicates the need for a root canal is when you feel a dull pain that progresses into an intense and sharp toothache.  

Swollen Gum Area

Not all gum problems necessitate root canal therapy. However, the only way to know if you need one is to see your dentist if you experience gum swelling. Your dentist will assess your gums to determine if the swelling is caused by inflammation due to gum disease or a raised bump that indicates an infection.  

Tooth Discoloration

There are many reasons why teeth are discolored. It’s vital to see your dentist regularly to determine what’s causing the discoloration. It could result from constant exposure to darkly pigmented food or beverage that led to enamel staining, or it could be because of nerve damage within the tooth. If it’s the latter, a root canal is needed to remove the decayed pulp.  

Patient during procedure with dentist that do root canals near me

Looking for a Dentist That Do Root Canals Near Me?

If you exhibit signs indicating the need for root canal therapy, we can help. At Highlands Dental Arts, we offer restorative dental treatments that aim to improve and preserve your oral health. Our skills and years of experience can help you meet your dental goals. Contact us today to request an appointment.

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