You have tooth pain that is not going away and gets much worse when you try to eat or touch it. It wakes you up at night so that you are miserable!
A root canal procedure cleans out the dental pulp, and root of a damaged, infected tooth. This saves the tooth and stops the throbbing pain.
When you are in terrible pain with a deeply damaged and infected tooth, the only way to save the natural tooth is usually a root canal. The only real root canal alternative is to have the tooth extracted (pulled).
Signs you need a root canal include significant pain, temperature sensitivity, swollen gums, or a loose tooth. Sometimes the tooth may be gray or black or has significant trauma (crack or chip).
Benefits of a root canal
Often, if you have a very infected, damaged tooth, you need an emergency root canal and immediate dental care from your general dentist. Although, if the infection is severe, your dentist may have to place medication in the tooth canal to kill the germs. After a week or two, they complete your root canal treatment and seal it with a temporary filling.
The dental procedure begins with local anesthesia (or sometimes full anesthesia) so that you will not have to experience root canal pain. The most painful part generally occurs before the root canal when there is inflammation and infection. The actual procedure is similar to what you would experience if you were having a deep cavity filled. It is not scary like many people seem to think now that we have modern technology and medications.
The dentist numbs the area and sets up a dental dam in your mouth to keep the infection from spreading. Then they clean all the decay and pulp out of the tooth’s pulp chamber. This is why a root canal is a type of endodontic treatment, meaning, “inside the tooth.”
After the inflamed or infected pulp is removed, the dentist meticulously cleans the inside of the root canal and fills and seals it. Often, a root canal and crown go together because a weakened tooth needs the support of a dental crown.
Then your dentist gives you medication and instructions to handle any temporary sensitivity or pain after the root canal. You get professional instructions to follow so your tooth will heal up quickly. Before you know it, you are ready for a big celebratory dinner!