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Woman at dental office talking with dentist about root canal treatment

Root canals have traditionally been associated with pain and anxiety, but understanding what a root canal treatment is and why you might need one can help alleviate any concerns you might have. Despite the myth, root canals actually eliminate pain, not cause it. The procedure can help remove decaying tissue from your tooth to get rid of discomfort and save your smile.

Learn how to recognize the signs of an infected root canal, how the treatment is performed, and how your oral health can benefit.

Recognizing the Need for a Root Canal

Knowing the signs of an infected root canal can help you get the treatment you need to save your tooth and protect your smile.

  • Sensitivity to hot and cold. If your tooth is extremely sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, even after the source of the temperature has been removed, it might indicate nerve damage or infection.
  • Swollen gums. Swollen gums near a painful tooth can signal underlying issues that may require a root canal. The swelling can fluctuate in size and might be accompanied by tenderness or pain.
  • Discoloration. A tooth that has become discolored, especially with a grayish or blackish hue, may suggest internal damage. This can be caused by nerve damage beneath the tooth’s surface or deep decay.
  • Prolonged sensitivity to pressure. If biting down or applying pressure to your tooth causes prolonged pain or discomfort, it could be due to an infection or a dying nerve, both of which are signs you might need a root canal.

The Root Canal Process

Root canal therapy is a routine dental procedure that’s as comfortable as getting a regular filling. Understanding the steps involved can make the experience less intimidating.

  • Diagnosis and X-ray. The process begins with a thorough examination and possibly an X-ray to confirm the diagnosis. This step helps dentists visualize the extent of the decay or damage.
  • Anesthesia and pulpectomy. Your dentist administers local anesthesia to numb the area. They then remove the infected pulp during a procedure called a pulpectomy, providing relief from pain and discomfort.
  • Cleaning and sealing. After removing the pulp, the inside of the tooth is cleaned and disinfected. The tooth is then sealed with natural latex to prevent future infections. Your dentist may sometimes also apply a temporary filling before a permanent crown is placed.

Benefits of Root Canal Treatment

While you may still be reluctant to undergo the procedure, there are several benefits of root canal therapy, including:

  • Pain relief. Despite the common misconception that root canals are extremely painful, root canal treatment provides pain relief by removing the source of the pain.
  • Preserve your tooth. A root canal ensures that you keep your natural tooth, avoiding extraction and helping maintain your jaw’s structural integrity.
  • Preventing further damage. Treating infection with a root canal prevents the bacteria and decay from spreading to the surrounding teeth or the jawbone, protecting your overall oral health.
  • Improved oral health. Removing the infection and restoring the tooth enhances your oral health and can prevent the need for more serious dental procedures in the future.

Don’t Delay: Arrange Your Root Canal Treatment Today

Recognizing the signs that you might need a root canal is the first step toward resolving dental pain and preserving your oral health. With modern techniques and anesthesia, the root canal process is more comfortable and effective than ever, offering a way to relieve pain, save your tooth, and prevent further oral health issues.

If you’re experiencing any symptoms of an infected root canal, contact Smile On Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center to consult with a dentist as soon as possible to explore your treatment options and enjoy the benefits of a healthier, pain-free smile.

Be proud of your smile.