How to know if you need a root canal

How to know if you need a root canal

Root canal treatment is performed to repair a severely decayed or infected tooth.

Root canal treatment tends to have a reputation for being painful, but the reality is that the procedure helps to alleviate a range of uncomfortable symptoms. The treatment can help to save an infected or decayed tooth from extraction and can improve one’s overall oral health. But how do you know if you could benefit from the procedure? Read on to find out more about the signs that root canal treatment is required, and what the process involves…

What are the signs that root canal treatment is required?

Root canal treatment is often recommended when the dental pulp, which includes the soft tissue, nerves and blood vessels inside the tooth, is damaged. When the pulp is damaged, it begins to deteriorate and bacteria multiply — this can lead to infection or the development of an abscessed tooth. Symptoms of an abscess or infection include swelling of the face, neck or head; severe toothache, particularly when chewing or biting; discolouration of the affected tooth; tender or swollen gums; and recurring pimples on the gums. If you notice any of these symptoms, it could be a sign that you need root canal treatment. It is advisable to see your dentist as soon as possible so that the issue can be resolved, and your tooth may be saved.

What does the treatment involve?

Your dentist will begin the process by taking an x-ray — this will allow them to see your root canals and identify any signs of infection in the tooth and surrounding bone. The affected tooth and surrounding area will then be numbed, and a small hole will then be drilled into the tooth. Your dentist will carefully remove the pulp, as well as any bacteria and other debris from inside your tooth. The tooth will be thoroughly cleaned and sealed. In some cases, a temporary filling may be placed, and you will need to return for your permanent filling to be placed at another appointment.

If your dentist needs to place a particularly large filling because of the extent of the decay, they may recommend that you have a crown placed to fully restore the tooth. Crowns help to strengthen weakened teeth and provide stability.

What is the recovery like?

After your root canal treatment, any discomfort that you felt as a result of infection or a tooth abscess should be resolved. You may, however, experience some inflammation and sensitivity at the site of treatment for a few days. Your dentist may recommend some over-the-counter medications to help alleviate any pain that you feel.

After root canal treatment, it is a good idea to minimise chewing on the repaired tooth at least until your final restoration has been placed. If you feel any tenderness, it is helpful to stick to soft foods for a while. Some good options include yoghurt, smoothies, soft fruits and vegetables and scrambled eggs.

To keep your teeth healthy following root canal treatment, you must practice proper oral hygiene. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily. It is also important that you see your dentist for regular check-ups and cleans so that any issues can be identified and resolved as soon as possible.

How can we help?

At Dental Pearls, we offer a range of restorative dentistry services, including root canal treatment. While root canal treatment has a reputation for being an unpleasant experience, our team takes a sensitive approach and prioritises our patients’ comfort throughout the procedure. If you would like to find out more about the procedure and what it involves, please have a look here.

If you would like to arrange a consultation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here or give us a call on (07) 3210 2144.  We look forward to helping you improve and maintain your oral health.

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