Kate's Fear of TMJ

4 Common Questions About Root Canals

Even though you brush and floss your teeth every single day, you may someday need a root canal to treat a very deep cavity. A root canal is designed to remove the damaged tissue within a tooth, which can cause you a lot of pain if left untreated. Here are a few key things you need to know about root canals.

What Is A Root Canal?

A root canal is a common dental procedure where a dentist will open up a tooth in order to remove the infected pulp. The pulp is the soft tissue that contains connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves. Most people do not experience signs or symptoms until that pulp becomes inflamed or infected, which brings up the need to go to a dentist due to a toothache.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms To Look Out For?

There are a few signs that can indicate the need for a root canal. It may start as a dull ache, and then move onto a throbbing or sharp pain. Some people even have a problem with their infected tooth being sensitive to cold and hot temperatures. Other symptoms include a tooth that is sensitive to touch or pressure, discolorations of the infected tooth, as well as tenderness or swelling around the tooth. 

Everyone experiences symptoms differently, and it's possible that you need a root canal even if you are not experiencing any signs or symptoms. The problem is typically discovered when getting a dental x-ray and seeing what a tooth looks like on the inside. 

When Should You Get A Root Canal Treatment?

If you have a tooth with infected pulp, the tooth is only going to get worse if left alone. You'll want to have the root canal done as soon as possible to prevent further complications. Waiting until there is pain is not a good idea because an infection can potentially spread to other teeth and get into your bloodstream. This makes a root canal more difficult to treat when it could have been addressed early on.

What Is It Like To Get A Root Canal

As a patient, you really don't have to do much other than wait in the dental chair while others do all the work. Your mouth will be numbed in the area where the dentist will be working, and you won't feel anything during the procedure itself. You may feel a bit uncomfortable from having to keep your mouth open for such a long time, but that is common with any long dental procedure.