Have you ever heard the dread in someone’s voice when they say they need a root canal? Although it has a bad reputation of being a painful procedure, a root canal is actually the opposite. Root canal therapy is used to treat a badly infected or decayed tooth to save it from extraction. The pain a patient usually feels is the infected tooth. The procedure itself is almost completely painless. Your mouth may feel sore for days to follow, but the discomfort is usually less than what you felt from the infected tooth. To restore your tooth back to health, a root canal removes the nerve and pulp to stop infection.
Why Are Root Canals Necessary?
There are a number of reasons why a patient might need a root canal. One of the top reasons is because they have a deep cavity. Other reasons include tooth trauma or fractures that leave the tooth susceptible to bacterial infections. Once the tooth becomes infected, pressure grows inside the tooth, causing a severe amount of pain that may lead to bone degeneration and even tooth loss. It’s important to always visit your dentist in St. Louis at the first sign of trouble to prevent future problems like this from occurring. If a problem is caught too late, a root canal might not be able to save the tooth and extraction becomes necessary.
An infected tooth is also a threat to your surrounding teeth and your life. Studies show that infected teeth have a link with heart disease. The infection can spread from your mouth to the rest of your body like your sinuses, lungs, and even your brain. It may even lead to a fatal blood infection like sepsis.
Signs Your Need a Root Canal
Although every patient doesn’t show symptoms of needing a root canal, in most cases they do. The following symptoms should be addressed with your dentist:
- Tooth pain when chewing or applying pressure
- Prolonged temperature sensitivity
- Foul taste in the mouth or bad breath
- Fever or localized hot spots on the tooth or gum
- Tenderness and swelling in the neighboring gums
- Recurring pimple on gums
Many people think that if they don’t have pain, they can’t have an infected tooth. But sometimes a bacterial infection will kill the root with only transient pain. Also, much of the pain is caused by pressure buildup in the tooth from blood flow, inflammation, and bacteria. If the tooth has good drainage, the pressure may never get high enough to cause pain.
If you are experiencing symptoms mentioned above, even without serious pain, please contact our office so that we can examine your tooth and take the necessary actions before the condition worsens.
Root Canal Procedure Overview
Before you avoid your treatment because of the horror stories you’ve heard, don’t worry. Root canal therapy is completely painless utilizing today’s technology. It’s not uncommon for patients to even doze off during their treatment with us. At Smile On Dental Studio, we complete your treatment in just one single appointment.
For your procedure, we first numb up your mouth and provide you with any sedation dentistry you need to feel relaxed. Afterward, we clean out the infected canal, seal it with composite material and then you’re on your way. Some patients may require a dental crown if their root canal is large enough. This will require an additional appointment to place the crown.
After your treatment, you may feel sore for a few days, but this is easily controlled with over the counter pain medication. We will provide you with aftercare hygiene instructions and schedule your next dental exam and cleaning.