When Is Root Canal Treatment Recommended?

Your dentist will likely recommend root canal treatment if the tooth’s pulp is inflamed or infected. The dentist determines this by examining the tooth and discussing your symptoms. If you demonstrate specific symptoms, your dentist will know that you need a root canal. Learn the symptoms to see if a root canal is the best option for you.

Symptoms that root canal treatment is needed

Choosing the proper treatment for a damaged or decayed tooth is critical. If less-invasive treatments such as dental fillings are possible, dentists select that option. However, if the tooth has experienced significant damage, a root canal allows the patient to receive treatment and save the tooth. This is preferred over extractions.

Lingering sensitivity

Many people experience sensitivity from time to time when eating or drinking hot or cold beverages. Normally, the sensitivity goes away once the hot or cold beverage is no longer in the mouth. However, if the sensitivity lingers, patients have what is called lingering pulpitis. This indicates the pulp is infected. A root canal will remove the infected pulp and reseal the tooth’s canal.

Pain without a stimulus

When the pulp inside of a tooth is inflamed or infected, it is normal to experience pain. Often, that pain comes when people are not doing anything. They are not eating or drinking, and suddenly, a wave of pain hits them. Then, when they move, the pain often gets worse. This is a sign that a root canal is needed.

An abscess

Patients who need root canals often have symptoms related to an abscess. This includes pain that radiates to other parts of the body. For instance, the pain might begin at the tooth and end up in the ear or jaw. Dentists can use X-rays to determine if an abscess is present. An abscess is a clear indication that the root pulp is infected and must be cleaned and repaired.

Darkened tooth

Inflamed and infected tooth pulp eventually dies. It no longer feeds the tooth, causing the roots to darken. Eventually, the rest of the tooth will also change colors. A dark tooth is a sign that the patient needs a root canal treatment to save the tooth.

Fistula present on the gums

A fistula is a small bump that looks like a pimple. It can appear on the gums close to a tooth that requires a root canal. It indicates that infection is present and must be treated. When a fistula is present, further examination needs to be done to determine which tooth is infected.

Do you need root canal treatment?

If you have lingering sensitivity, pain without a stimulus, signs of an abscess, a darkened tooth or a fistula on your gums, visit the dentist. Your dentist will examine your mouth and determine if you need a root canal. If you do, the dentist will schedule the treatment. It is important to act quickly so that your tooth can be saved.

Request an appointment here: https://cameronstationdentalcare.com or call Cameron Station Dental Care at (703) 651-1949 for an appointment in our Alexandria office.

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