What is a Root Canal and when is it needed?

Root canals are needed when the soft tissue inside the root canal becomes inflamed or infected. The infection inside the root canal is typically caused by bacteria or an injury to the tooth. Typically root canals are performed to help save a tooth, and they are one of the most common procedures done today. Addressing root canals is important because if the infection gets worse it can cause more serious health problems.

How do I know if I need a Root Canal?

Many patients have symptoms that something is wrong and they may be in need of a root canal. In some cases patients do not have any symptoms at all, and the issue with the tooth is found during your regular dental exam. In order to avoid serious complications, root canals should always be addressed immediately.

Symptoms that may indicate you need a root canal:

  • Tooth discoloration
  • Prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Tooth injury
  • Pain in or around the tooth
  • Swelling around the gums or teeth
  • Jaw feels tender to the touch
  • Pain while chewing

What is involved in the Root Canal process?

Multiple appointments are typically needed for root canals, and this depends on the severity of the infection. This procedure is straight forward, and local anesthesia is used to help keep relaxed and to minimize pain.

During the procedure the infected pulp is removed and the area is cleaned thoroughly. Next, the area is sealed and filled to help keep bacteria out. Temporary crowns are used and placed over the tooth while you wait for your custom crown to be installed. In some cases, same day crowns can be made for patients, and a temporary crown is not necessary.

Recovery after a root canal is minimal, and patients should only experience some pain or sensitivity. After a few days, the pain should subside and patients can return to normal activity. Our team will discuss an at home recovery care plan with each patient. We recommend using good oral hygiene habits at home, and it is important to keep the area clean.

If you are interested in finding out more about our root canal procedures or are experiencing any symptoms that may indicate you need a root canal, please contact our office to schedule an appointment.