If you’ve been suffering from a severe toothache that just won’t go away, there’s a good chance that you might need a root canal in Spring Lake. Of course, many patients might try to avoid this procedure, thinking it’ll be exceedingly painful. However, this is a potentially dangerous misconception; not only is a root canal less frightening than its reputation would have you believe, but getting one could mean the difference between saving your tooth and losing it altogether.
When Would I Need a Root Canal?
Root canals are performed when the pulp inside the tooth has become infected. This is usually the ultimate result of a cavity that wasn’t treated in time. An infected tooth can cause severe pain, fever, swollen lymph nodes, sensitivity to temperature and sweetness, and an unpleasant taste in the mouth. If you notice any of these symptoms in combination with each other, you should consider it a sign of a dental emergency.
During root canal therapy, the pulp and other infected tissues are removed. The tooth is then sealed to protect it from further damage. The nerves inside the tooth will be gone, but the structure will be intact, allowing you to continue eating, speaking and smiling normally.
What if I Don’t Get a Root Canal?
An infected tooth won’t get better on its own. Leaving it alone means you’ll have to live with the pain and other uncomfortable symptoms. Eventually, the infection will reach the point where the dentist will have no choice but to extract the tooth altogether.
When a tooth is gone, your remaining teeth will shift in your mouth and your jawbone will start to deteriorate. Over time you could suffer from severe bite problems and various cosmetic issues. You can replace missing teeth with dental implants and other restorations, but such treatments can be costly and will require more visits to the dentist. In the long run, it’s best to have the infection removed with root canal therapy to avoid further health issues and surgeries.
But Won’t the Root Canal Hurt?
The idea that a root canal will hurt any more than other dental procedures is an exaggeration. The area around the affected tooth will be numbed like it would for other treatments; as a result, getting a root canal will cause no more pain than getting a cavity filled. You will experience some discomfort and swelling afterwards, but these side effects will only last for a few days; in the meantime, you can take over-the-counter pain medication.
In general, you should never take chances with your teeth, and if you have a chance to save them you should take it. If a toothache lasts for more than 48 hours, call your dentist in Spring Lake right away. Don’t be afraid if they suggest a root canal; if anything, the surgery will help relieve your pain and keep your smile whole!
About the Author
Dr. Edward J. Dooley is a Spring Lake Native and is a proud member of many dental organizations, including the New Jersey Dental Association. He helps patients protect their smiles by performing root canals to save infected teeth; he also offers therapy to treat infected gums. To schedule an appointment at his practice, Dooley Dental, visit his website or call (972) 495-8100.