Have you ever wondered how dentists determine that a patient needs a root canal? Dr. Clinton Watson and Dr. Nicole Jackson in Macon, GA, explain when root canals are needed and share a few signs that may indicate you could benefit from the procedure.
Why do I need a root canal?
Root canals are recommended due to inflammation or infection of a tooth's pulp. The pulp forms the core of the tooth and is made up of tissue, nerves and blood vessels. During the root canal, the pulp is removed and the tooth is thoroughly cleaned before being filled.
You may be more likely to need a root canal due to:
- Multiple Dental Procedures: If you've had several dental procedures on one tooth, your risk of inflammation or infection rises.
- Poorly Fitting Crowns: When crowns don't fit properly, tooth decay can develop underneath them.
- Extensive Tooth Decay: Tooth decay can reach your pulp if you don't treat cavities promptly.
- An Injury: If you experienced a blow to your tooth, or it was reimplanted after it was knocked out, you may need a root canal.
- A Crack: A crack, or even a small chip, creates the perfect pathway for bacteria to enter your tooth. Once it does, it can travel to the pulp.
How can I tell if I need a root canal?
Your tooth will probably hurt if you need a root canal. Although inflamed or infected teeth can be very painful, pain isn't always severe, at least in the early stages. Your tooth may hurt when you chew on it or push on it. Taking a sip of ice water or bite of hot pizza can trigger or worsen pain. It's important to schedule an appointment with our Macon office any time you experience pain in a tooth.
Teeth that need root canals may change color. If you notice that your tooth is darker than normal, you might need a root canal. Call the office as soon as possible if you notice signs of a dental abscess, which include severe pain, fever, facial swelling and swollen lymph nodes or gums.
Is root canal treatment painful?
Sometimes, people avoid root canals because they're afraid that the procedure will be painful. In reality, the treatment relieves pain and saves your tooth. You'll receive a local anesthetic that will numb your mouth completely before your root canal. Work won't begin on your tooth until Dr. Watson or Dr. Jackson are sure that you won't feel any pain.
Root canals protect your teeth and end your pain. Think you may need a root canal? Call Dr. Watson and Dr. Jackson in Macon, GA, at (478) 475-1976 to schedule an appointment.