When the pulp within a tooth becomes infected, it runs the risk of taking the rest of the tooth along with it. Fortunately, there is a procedure that can eliminate the infected pulp, thus allowing the tooth to remain. This procedure is the root canal and it’s needed in a number of scenarios.
What is a root canal procedure exactly? How can you tell whether a root canal is needed? Here are 5 signs to look out for.
What Is a Root Canal Procedure?
As was alluded to above, a root canal procedure is a procedure wherein infected pulp is removed from the inside of a tooth. To access the inside of the tooth, the endodontist drills a hole in it. He or she then cleans out its root and pulp chambers with the use of antiseptic and antibacterial solutions.
Once the infection is eliminated, the endodontist fills the root canals with a synthetic material. This closes up the tooth, preventing it from becoming infected in the future. To finalize the procedure, the endodontist places a crown on the tooth. This provides the tooth with the correct shape and consistency.
Signs You Need a Root Canal
There are a number of signs that indicate the need to schedule a root canal. These signs include:
- An Extreme Toothache
One of the most common signs that a root canal is needed is that you’re experiencing an extreme toothache. If the pain is radiating from your tooth to the other parts of your face, you just might need the procedure.
- A Discolored Tooth
Another sign that you need a root canal is that your tooth is discolored in relation to your other teeth. This indicates a fairly severe infection and needs to be tended to as soon as possible.
- Hot and Cold Sensitivity
Does one of your teeth ache when exposed to extreme hot or extreme cold? If so, it could very well be in need of a root canal. See your dentist in order to get to the bottom of the issue.
- Sores on the Gums
Maybe you have sores on your gums? If so, it’s probably because your mouth has been exposed to excess bacteria. If this is the case, that bacteria could very well be inside of your teeth as well, leading to an infection.
Get checked out as soon as possible to determine whether a root canal is necessary.
- A Cracked Tooth
The last sign that you might need a root canal is that you have a cracked tooth. If your tooth is cracked, its interior can be exposed to bacteria. As such, cracked teeth heighten the risk of infections.
Root Canal Aftercare Is Vital
Now that you know the answer to “what is a root canal procedure?”, you might see that it’s time for you to undergo a root canal procedure. If so, you should read up on how to prepare for a root canal as well as on root canal aftercare. Knowing what to expect will ease the procedure and make for the best experience possible.