Identifying the need for a Root Canal:
The ideal way that a patient will determine that they are in need of a Root Canal would be being advised of this by the Dentist during their regularly scheduled exams or follow up treatment. However, the reasons for needing a Root Canal will often present themselves between regular treatment visits and they usually present themselves in one or more of the following symptomatic ways: moderate to severe lingering toothache pain when exposed to hot or cold, moderate to severe pain when biting on the tooth, sensitivity to tapping or pressure on the tooth, a toothache that wakes the patient up in the middle of the night, a pimple on the patient's gum that may release pus or blood, and/or radiating pain from one area of the mouth to the other.
If the Dentist identifies a tooth that needs a Root Canal or one or more of the above symptoms present themselves it strongly encouraged that the patient pursue restorative treatment as soon as possible as the problem only worsens usually both in terms of pain and damage to the tooth and mouth. The tooth is likely infected and if left untreated for too long an abscess can form and can result in bone loss in the jaw and extreme pain until resolved.
The reasons that a tooth might need a Root Canal varies significantly, but amo0ng the most common reasons are: a very deep cavity that extends into the nerve, the tooth experiences trauma that exposes the nerve, or a crack in the tooth that extends to the nerve.
Restoration by Root Canal:
The objective of the Root Canal is to restore the infected tooth and preserve further damage to the jaw by removing the diseased or infected pulp of the tooth. The American Dental Association defines the pulp of the tooth as the soft tissue inside your teeth containing blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. The pulp chamber and the root canals are cleaned and then shaped in preparation to be filled with an inert material. After the tooth has been cleaned, shaped, and filled it is sealed and finally Crowned for a complete restoration. For further information regarding the final step of Crowning the tooth has received the Root Canal please see the Crown section.
During the first appointment of the restoration process the patient is usually numbed, unless they request not to be numbed or have a medical conflict with numbing materials, and the patient is afforded the use of anxiety reducing Dental Gas (a controlled mixture of medical grade Nitrous Oxide and Oxygen).
For additional information about Root Canals contact us directly - we will be more than happy to assist you in your understanding and determining the best treatment option for you or your loved one.