Everyone’s heard of root canals. Unfortunately, most people associate them with terrible experiences filled with pain and dread. But what do you really know about root canals and are they worthy of all the horror stories?
What Is A Root Canal?
A root canal is a procedure that treats a severely infected tooth. During the treatment, the nerve and pulp of the tooth is removed. When that’s complete, the dentist cleans up the interior of the tooth and seals it up to prevent further infection. Left untreated, an infected tooth will become more serious when the infection spreads to the surrounding tissue. So while the procedure sounds unpleasant, it’s far better than the alternative.
What Causes A Root Canal?
There are several reasons for infection in the tooth pulp. They include severe tooth decay, trauma to the tooth, recent dental procedures, large fillings, and cracks or chips in the teeth. If the cause of your tooth pain is serious decay or infection in the tooth pulp, your dentist may recommend a root canal.
Signs You Need A Root Canal
Not all types of mouth pain are indications for a root canal. But signs of infection severe enough that may warrant one include:
- Serious tooth pain when eating or when you put pressure on the area
- Teeth pain and sensitivity to hot or cold that lingers
- A small, pimple-like bump on the gums near the area of teeth pain
- Darkening of the tooth
- Tenderness or swelling in the gums near the area of pain
How Painful Is a Root Canal?
Let’s get to the root of the issue and address what everyone wants to know. Root canals have the reputation of being painful. Actually, most people report that the procedure itself is no more painful than having a filling placed.
If you want a step by step guide to how a root canal is performed, here is a helpful article. Or, feel free to call our office with your questions! 828.277.5024.