Did you know that approximately 25 million root canals are completed annually in our country? According to the American Association of Endodontists, a majority of Americans are fearful of root canals, believing them to be invasive and painful. Thankfully, this perception is not true. Over the years, the root canal process has improved so that patients feel little or no pain during the procedure and generally experience only limited pain in the following days. Because most patients in need of a root canal are already experiencing tooth pain, a root canal will bring much-needed relief while saving the infected tooth and preventing further damage. At Providence Dental Spa, we are committed to helping our patients overcome dental issues in the most comfortable setting possible. 

What is a Root Canal?

By definition, a root canal is an endodontic treatment that removes infected or inflamed tooth pulp. The root canal process removes the infected pulp, cleans the root canal, and seals up the inner tooth. After the root canal is complete, a crown or dental restoration will be placed to protect the tooth from further harm. Root canals should be completed as soon as possible to prevent the infection from spreading and causing additional health issues. 

How to Know if You Need a Root Canal

If you are wondering if you need a root canal, consider looking out for these common root canal symptoms: 

  • Intense Pain– Of all the signs that you need a root canal, pain is the hardest one to overlook. Although there are other reasons to have dental pain, root canal pain is different because it often occurs in spontaneous waves of pain. Other indicators of root canal pain include tooth pain in certain positions such as when you bend or lay down. 
  • Temperature Sensitivity–Experiencing hot and cold sensitivity can occur for various reasons, but often resolves rapidly. When a root canal is needed, hot and cold sensitivity tends to linger long after you have finished eating or drinking. 
  • Gum Swelling or Tenderness–Swelling in the gums can occur as a result of flossing or overly intense brushing, but this swelling will diminish on its own. If you have an infected tooth, the gums around it will be tender to the touch and swollen for quite some time. 
  • Gum Bumps–Known as fistula, tiny white pimple-like bumps can appear in your mouth when you have an infected tooth. 
  • Tooth Damage–Sometimes, the crack or chip can lead to inflamed or infected tooth pulp. A cracked or chipped tooth can often require a root canal to save the overall tooth. A root canal addresses the problematic tooth pulp to preserve the remaining tooth. 
  • Abscess–If an abscess is present, dental x-rays are needed. When they are completed, an abscess will appear to be a dark spot. Essentially, the dark spot indicates a hole in your jawbone where the bone cannot grow around the infection. Clearing the infection through a root canal is important for your overall health. 
  • Gum Darkening–When a tooth is dying or infected, the surrounding gums will darken and decay. A consultation with your dentist will determine if a root canal is right for you. 

When considering a root canal, there is no reason to fear. You can be assured that because the tooth is properly numbed, a root canal will not be a pain-filled procedure. The health of your smile and the comfort of your mouth will be restored quickly and easily. If you feel that you may need a root canal, call Providence Dental Spa today to schedule a consultation!