A root canal may not sound like a picnic, but it’s a lot better than losing your tooth. Thankfully, the procedure is a lot less invasive or intense than you may realize. Thanks to modern technology, this routine treatment can do away with symptoms associated with the need for a root canal, such as intense pain and decay, while preserving your pearly whites.
At Healthy Smile Dental, Dr. Hannah Baek offers root canals in a comfortable environment with your health and comfort as her top priorities. The result is less pain and a lower risk for complications moving forward.
Signs you need a root canal
A root canal provides care when bacteria has caused an abscess or infection that damages the pulp of a tooth. These issues can step from decay, large fillings, a chip or crack in a tooth, trauma to your face, or repeated dental procedures on a particular tooth.
Once they occur, signs you may need a root canal include:
- Discoloration of the infected tooth
- Severe toothache pain when you apply pressure or chew food
- Lasting sensitivity to cold or hot food and beverages
- Tenderness and swelling in surrounding gum tissue
- A recurring or persistent pimple in your gums
In many cases, people find a root canal markedly relieving after struggling with these symptoms for some amount of time. Seeking care early can prevent the need for an emergency root canal. You can also develop a need for a root canal without noticeable symptoms, which is one reason routine dental exams are important.
How a root canal can save your tooth
If infected dental pulp goes unaddressed, the infection can worsen increasingly over time, causing not only more severe symptoms, but the need for tooth removal.
Once your tooth is removed, it will need to be replaced. Otherwise, you can experience complications of a missing tooth, such as shifting teeth, speech and chewing problems, a sagging mouth, and self-consciousness about your appearance. Treatments for a missing tooth, such as bridges, dentures, and implants, may be more intense, costly, and invasive than a root canal.
Once Dr. Baek has given you local anesthesia for numbness for the procedure, she removes the infected pulp. She then places a temporary crown on the tooth until a permanent one is ready.
Most people report only mild discomfort afterward, which can be managed well with ice or an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen. Your tooth will function completely normally quickly — no tooth removal required.
To find out if you would benefit from a root canal or other dental care, call Healthy Smile Dental or book an appointment with Dr. Baek through our website.