Do I Need A Root Canal? Possible Signs And Symptoms | Southwest Endodontics
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Do I Need A Root Canal? Possible Signs And Symptoms

do i need a root canal

Do I Need A Root Canal? Possible Signs And Symptoms

Key Takeaways:

    Root Canal Treatment Is Crucial for Tooth Preservation: Root canal therapy is essential to saving damaged, infected, or inflamed pulp from within a tooth to avoid further infection and seal off damaged canals. By going through treatment for damaged pulp inside of teeth, root canal therapy allows teeth to be saved without having to undergo extraction, thus avoiding potential infection spread and extraction costs.

    Common Signs and Symptoms of Needing a Root Canal: Dental pain, cracked or fractured teeth, gum swelling, discoloration on an individual tooth, or temperature sensitivity may all indicate the need for root canal therapy. Don’t ignore such signs: seeking professional evaluation from an endodontist as soon as possible should be your top priority.

    Root Canal Procedure and Recovery: Contrary to popular belief, getting a root canal does not usually involve significant discomfort. Modern techniques like Southwest Endodontics’ GentleWave system aim to minimize discomfort during this procedure; although some pressure or sensitivity may arise afterward. Over-the-counter pain relievers should help manage any associated discomfort, and any new pains must arise post-root canal. Afterward, follow up with your endodontist should this arise.

Root canal treatment is nothing to worry about. The process is typically only as uncomfortable as a cavity filling. Additionally, getting a root canal will stop the symptoms you had before, including pain and sensitivity. 

Don’t worry about root canal treatment. At Southwest Endodontics, we use GentleWave technology to speed up the process and prevent complications. If you identify with any of the signs below, stop asking, “Do I need a root canal?” you can call us at Southwest Endodontics for an appointment.

What Is a Root Canal and Why You May Need One

Endodontists perform root canal treatment to remove damaged, infected, or inflamed pulp from inside the tooth. Reasons for needing this non-surgical procedure vary but include serious tooth decay that reaches the root and a crack in the tooth that exposes the pulp.

You need a root canal to prevent infection and seal off damaged canals. Tooth pulp, once damaged, will not grow back or heal itself. Additionally, bacteria inside the tooth can cause an unchecked infection that can spread beyond the tooth or require extraction.

By getting a root canal, the endodontist can save your tooth and help you to avoid a serious infection.

Common Signs and Symptoms You May Need a Root Canal

In many cases, you cannot tell just by looking at a tooth if you need a root canal. However, experiencing signs and symptoms common in those who did need root canals increases the chances that you will need one too. Instead of making assumptions and possibly inaccurately self-diagnosing your condition, come see us at one of our Southwest Endodontics locations for a professional evaluation and treatment.

Dental Pain

People who need root canals describe their pain in various ways. Some people have sharp pain when biting down the tooth. Other people experience a dull ache that worsens when eating or drinking. Still, others have no pain at all or pain that seems to come and go.

Regardless of the pain level, any type of dental discomfort is not typical. You need an evaluation by a professional for any pain you have in a tooth. You may have referred to pain from another tooth, sinus pressure, or damage inside the tooth that requires endodontic care. You will know the cause of the problem once you have an exam and imaging from an endodontist.

Crack in a Tooth

Tooth cracks open the tooth pulp to exposure from bacteria. When germs get inside the tooth, they will multiply and cause pain and pressure inside the tooth. The best way to prevent this from happening is with endodontic treatment as soon as you notice a crack. By cleaning and sealing the tooth with a root canal, the endodontist stops the crack from worsening, preventing tooth loss from bacterial damage.

Gum Swelling

Swelling in the gums may indicate that you have an infection inside the tooth’s root tip. Any infection needs attention to stop it from spreading and save the tooth. Schedule a visit with an endodontist to determine if you need a root canal or endodontic surgery.

Putting off treatment will likely cause any pain you have to increase and raise the chances that you may need extraction instead of endodontic care.

Discoloration on a Single Tooth

Discoloration on a single tooth may not be a stain. Usually, teeth stains from food or drink affect all your teeth. However, if only one tooth seems darker than its neighbors, you may have decay inside it. This decay causes intrinsic discoloration, meaning that it starts from the inside of the tooth.

If you still have discoloration in the tooth after root canal therapy, you can see your dentist for a dental veneer bonded to the tooth to hide the discoloration.

Temperature Sensitivity

Sensitivity to heat and cold often indicates an internal concern with a tooth. You may feel extra pain in your teeth if you eat ice cream or drink coffee. For people with general tooth sensitivity, the pain subsides when you stop eating or drinking. However, people who may need root canals often say that the tooth still hurts for up to a minute after they stop drinking or eating the offending substance.

While changing your diet to avoid painful foods can temporarily relieve you, it will not address the cause of the problem. Contact an endodontist for any sensitivity you may have, especially if you have never had tooth sensitivity before and the pain lasts after you stop eating.

What Happens If I Don’t Get a Root Canal?

You could lose the tooth if you need a root canal to treat an infected or damaged tooth and put off the treatment for too long. Root canal therapy is a final effort to save a tooth you would otherwise need to have pulled.

Does a Root Canal Hurt?

Getting a root canal does not hurt. Endodontic training includes pain mitigation lessons to ensure that you won’t feel discomfort during the procedure. Thanks to our use of the GentleWave system at our Southwest Endodontics offices, you may only need one appointment for the entire process. The GentleWave more thoroughly cleans the entirety of the root canals using painless sound and water.

After the procedure, you will likely have a little pressure and sensitivity in your tooth for a few days. Over-the-counter acetaminophen or ibuprofen easily controls the minor pain levels you may feel. Best of all, once you recover entirely, you’ll feel no pain in the tooth, which means that the symptoms you felt before will permanently stop. Contact your endodontist if you do have lingering or new pain after you have a root canal to see if you need additional attention.

Get the Answer to “Do I Need a Root Canal?” at Southwest Endodontics

Call your closest Southwest Endodontics office if you need a root canal. We have highly qualified endodontists serving both locations. By getting root canal treatment as soon as possible, you let our endodontists save your tooth and your smile. If you notice the common signs and symptoms of needing a root canal, call us immediately to get an endodontic consultation scheduled. Your smile depends on it.