A root canal is a restorative procedure that can often save a tooth that is infected or at-risk of infection. Root canals are common and many patients will need one at some point in their life. The procedure is typically short and simple and can usually be performed with just local anesthesia. If successful, a root canal can allow your natural tooth to remain in place in your mouth without the need for extraction and replacement.
How do you know if you need a root canal? Here are the top 3 signs.
Sign # 1: Your Tooth Hurts
A toothache is a telltale sign of an infected tooth. A tooth becomes infected when bacteria invades the dental pulp, the soft tissue inside a tooth. The dental pulp contained in the root canal, the inner chamber of the tooth, is made up of blood vessels and nerves that are essential in the development of a tooth. This tissue can become infected through a deep cavity or damage to the tooth structure, which results in pain and inflammation. A toothache that doesn’t subside or becomes severe is an indication that you may need a root canal.
Sign # 2: Your Tooth is Sensitive
Another sign of a tooth that may be in need of a root canal is severe sensitivity. Mild sensitivity may occur when you eat or drink something that is cold, hot, or sweet. It usually subsides after the cause of the sensitivity is removed. However, when sensitivity is severe it lingers long after the source is removed. This often means that the nerves inside the tooth are exposed in some way, most likely from decay of the tooth enamel. This tooth is most likely at risk for infection and may need a root canal as a preventive measure.
Sign # 3: Your Tooth is Cracked, Chipped, or Broken
A tooth that is cracked, chipped, or broken is at an increased risk of infection. Bacteria can invade the root canal through a crack or chip in a tooth. A tooth with a significant portion broken off is also susceptible to infection. You may not be aware of a small chip or crack in a tooth until you experience sensitivity or develop a toothache. The tooth should be treated with a root canal and covered with a crown to prevent infection and preserve the natural root.
What is a Root Canal?
The procedure is named after the part of the tooth it treats. During root canal therapy the dental pulp is removed, the root canal is thoroughly cleaned out, and the tooth is filled with a rubbery composite material that fortifies the tooth and prevents reinfection. In most cases a dental crown is placed over the tooth after a root canal to protect the existing tooth material from further infection or damage.
Where Should I Go For Root Canal Therapy?
Many dentists perform root canals, but an endodontist specializes in root canal therapy and other treatments and procedures that affect the dental pulp. Endodontists address the health of the tooth from the inside out to help restore and maintain the natural teeth whenever possible. With specialized tools and equipment, as well as expert training, endodontists are often able to save teeth so that they can remain in your mouth without the need for retreatment.
Elite Endodontics of NH Provides Root Canal Therapy
If you have any of the above signs that you might need a root canal, Elite Endodontics of New Hampshire can help. We specialize in endodontic treatment including root canal therapy. We make it our goal to save your natural teeth whenever possible so that they will last for the rest of your life.
Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.