Do you have an aching or damaged tooth? If you are worried you may need a root canal, don’t stress too much — this is a common restorative procedure that can save your tooth and keep your smile intact for a long time to come. The only way to know for sure if this is the best treatment is to visit your dentist in Wall Township, but below are some telltale signs that can let you know a root canal is indeed the best method. Keep reading to find out more about root canals and when one might be right for you.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a procedure in which your dentist cleans out the infected interior of a decayed or damaged tooth. This surgery is performed under local anesthesia to numb the area; sedation may be used as well for additional relaxation. A root canal is nothing unusual at all — in fact, millions of teeth will be successfully treated through this procedure this year.
When Is a Root Canal Necessary?
Your dentist will likely recommend a root canal when the interior tissue of a tooth (the pulp) has been damaged but the structure can still remain stable in the gum line. Infection may occur within a tooth due to untreated tooth decay; if a cavity is left to worsen, it will gradually eat away at the enamel and underlying dentin until it reaches the pulp. Injury can also affect this area of the tooth.
Some of the warning signs that you need a root canal include:
- A persistent ache in the tooth
- Lingering sensitivity to heat, cold, air, or pressure
- A pimple-like bump on the gums below the tooth
- A darkening or graying tooth
- A foul odor emerging from the tooth
- Gum recession in the area
If you experience any of these symptoms, get in touch with your dentist right away. An infection can quickly turn into an abscessed tooth, or it may spread throughout the body to put your overall health at risk.
What Are the Steps of a Root Canal?
A root canal is usually performed over the span of two visits to your dentist’s office. In the first appointment, the tooth will be numbed and then thoroughly cleaned out. Once it is hollow and the root canals have been reshaped, the tooth is filled with gutta percha, the special material that will take the place of your tooth’s pulp. In many cases, a temporary filling is placed. You may come back for a second visit to get a permanent filling or crown which will complete the procedure.
In most cases, teeth treated with a root canal can stay secure in the gum for many years to come. Don’t fear this procedure — and don’t put it off, either! See your dentist right away to save your smile with a modern root canal.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Edward J. Dooley is a trusted general, cosmetic, and restorative dentist serving Wall Township and the surrounding area. He is an expert in saving teeth with effective root canal therapy. To learn more about this treatment or to schedule an appointment, feel free to call his office at 732-974-2288.