No one wants to start the new year with tooth pain. Nevertheless, if you’ve noticed severe discomfort or sensitivity, it may be a telltale sign that you need to visit the dentist for root canal treatment. Root canals are a common dental procedure that involves removing the infected or damaged tissue from inside your tooth. Failing to get help for an infected tooth can lead to your tooth failing and needing to be removed. So it’s essential to visit us when you first notice that something is wrong. Here are the telltale signs you need a root canal.
But First, What Is A Root Canal, And Why Might You Need One?
A Root Canal is a procedure responsible for treating a highly infected or inflamed tooth to save it from extraction. Once our dentists have examined your mouth and confirmed that you need a root canal, the treatment is typically performed in two visits by an Endodontist.
During treatment, our Endodontist, Dr Umut Gokay Emir, will numb the surrounding area and extract the infected or damaged pulp from inside your tooth. He will then clean and disinfect your tooth to remove any remaining bacteria. Before you leave, he will place a temporary filling to protect the tooth until you next come in.
Once the infection has cleared, Umut will remove the temporary filling and fill the tooth with a special material called “gutta-percha“. This material helps prevent further infection. He will then seal the tooth with a permanent filling, allowing it to function normally again. At other times, he may need to close the tooth with a permanent crown fixture.
There are several reasons why you may need a root canal. The first and most common cause is an infection in the tooth’s pulp. This is usually because of a deep cavity or crack in the tooth that allows bacteria to enter inside. Other reasons for needing a root canal include trauma or a large filling that has caused the tooth to become weak and susceptible to infection.
Umut is highly skilled in saving teeth and possesses both a PhD and MSc in Endodontics. He is particularly interested in treating complex cases and will ensure that you’re comfortable throughout the entirety of your procedure. If he does need to remove the infected tooth at any point, we can offer a wide range of tooth replacement options, including dentures or dental implants.
Does Root Canal Treatment Hurt?
No, a root canal is not a painful procedure. We numb the surrounding area around the tooth so you feel little to no discomfort.
Most of our patients report feeling no pain during the procedure. Likewise, any pain felt afterwards can be easily managed with over-the-counter pain medication. In fact, most people report feeling some relief after the procedure from the pain of their infected tooth.
However, if you do have Dentophobia or hate sitting in the dentist’s chair for lengthy procedures, we can offer intravenous (IV) sedation in case you need some added support to relax.
Telltale Signs You Need A Root Canal
If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, you likely need a root canal:
#1 Severe tooth pain or sensitivity
If you’re experiencing sharp, stabbing pain when you eat or drink something hot or cold, or if your tooth is sensitive to the touch, this could be a sign that the nerve inside your tooth is infected. This is often caused by a deep cavity or crack that has allowed bacteria to enter and infect the pulp.
#2 Swollen gums
If your gums are swollen and tender, this could indicate an infection in the pulp. When the pulp becomes infected, it can cause the surrounding tissue to become inflamed, leading to swelling and discomfort.
#3 Darkening of the tooth
If your tooth appears darkened, this could be a sign that the nerve inside is dying. As the nerve dies, the blood flow to the tooth decreases, resulting in a dark or discoloured appearance. If your tooth does become darkened or discoloured, we can fit a fresh crown fixture to disguise your natural tooth.
#4 Pus or drainage from the tooth
If you notice pus or drainage from your tooth, this is a clear sign of an infection. This is typically the result of bacteria entering the tooth’s pulp and causing an abscess.
#5 A persistent bad taste in your mouth
If your mouth has a constant bad taste, this could be a sign of an infection in your tooth. As bacteria grows and spreads, they can release toxins and waste products that create a bad taste in your mouth.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, we recommend booking an appointment to see us as soon as possible. Ignoring these symptoms can lead to further complications, such as the infection spreading to other teeth or even to the bone surrounding the tooth.
The earlier you receive root canal treatment, the better. This is because missing teeth can lead to complications, such as jawbone shrinkage, sunken facial appearance, difficulty chewing and speaking, and teeth misalignment. In most cases, the aftermath of tooth loss will require far more dental work to fix than a root canal. So, getting a root canal can save your tooth and avoid these potential complications. In turn, this can help you maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.
Suffering From Severe Toothache, Sensitivity Or Darkening Of The Tooth? Contact The Bristol Dental Practice In Bristol For Root Canal Treatment.
We’re open seven days a week, Sundays by appointment only, to help with your dental needs. Give our lovely reception team a call on 0117 405 4397 or contact us online for Root Canal enquiries.
We look forward to welcoming you!