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How Do You Know When You Need a Root Canal?

August 11, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — mysouthridge @ 8:16 pm
A man with glasses considering root canal treatment

Root canal treatments get a bad reputation for the supposed pain they inflict upon their recipients. However, this is far from the truth thanks to advances in dental technology and techniques. Your dentist uses the procedure to alleviate pain, not cause it.

But do you have to be in pain in order to require root canal treatment? Continue reading to learn the signs that point to needing a root canal treatment. Knowing when you might need one can prevent further dental complications and stop pain.

Why Are Root Canals Necessary?

Before delving into the signs, it’s important to understand why root canals are performed. The primary goal of a root canal treatment is to remove infected or damaged pulp tissue from inside a tooth.

This will prevent the spread of infection and preserve the tooth’s structure. The alternative to a root canal in many cases is extraction, and your dentist will want to preserve as many of your natural teeth as possible.

Signs You May Need a Root Canal

  • Tooth Pain – One of the most common indicators of pulp infection is persistent, severe tooth pain, especially when chewing or applying pressure to the tooth.
  • Sensitivity to Temperature – If you experience heightened sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages, it could be a sign of pulp inflammation or infection.
  • Swollen Gums – Swelling or tenderness in the gums around a specific tooth can indicate an underlying issue. The swelling may be accompanied by a pus-filled bump on the gum.
  • Painful Bump on the Gums – The presence of a painful pimple-like bump on the gums near a tooth can be a sign of a dental abscess, which may necessitate a root canal.
  • Discoloration of the Tooth – A tooth that has turned dark or grayish in color could be damaged from a pulp chamber infection.
  • Sensitivity to Pressure – If you continue to experience pain when you bite or apply pressure to a tooth, the pulp of your tooth could be compromised.
  • Cracked or Chipped Tooth – A tooth that has a fracture or deep chip is especially vulnerable and may expose the pulp to bacteria.

When Should I Go to the Dentist?

If you’re experiencing any of these signs, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist. They will perform a thorough examination, which may include X-rays, to determine the extent of the issue. Early detection and intervention are critical in preventing further complications.

Root canal treatments are designed to save teeth and alleviate pain. If you think you may need a root canal, even if you don’t have pain, don’t delay seeking professional dental care. Early intervention can prevent the spread of infection and preserve your smile. Your dentist is there to help you through the process and ensure your success.

About the Practice

Dr. Ryan Shaffer and Dr. Steven Shaffer are dedicated dentists raised in the great state of Nebraska. They’ve been serving their patients at their family-owned practice for many years. Both dentists graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and have since been providing quality dental care and increasing their knowledge through continuing education. To schedule an appointment at South Ridge Dental, call (402) 423-1616 or visit the website to explore other services.

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