Will a root canal save my tooth?

root canals IrvingSensitivity to temperature, tooth discomfort, pressure or pain when you bite down, sensation on the face near the jaw … all of these things may be an indicator that you are in the throes of a condition with a tooth saving response … that is root canals.

How does this happen? Teeth are very strong, but some individuals have weaker enamel and tooth structure than others. A breach in the dental enamel or a hairline crack may go undetected by you until the nerve of the tooth is impacted. That is when discomfort sets in, and it is time to see the dentist.

Dental x-rays are needed to verify the number of roots involved and their position. With the root canal procedure the tooth to be treated is segregated from the rest of the mouth. An access point is created into the tooth, and a dental file is used to vacate the dental canals of the tooth.

If infection has occurred, the patient may be dealing with an abscess (a pocket of pus at the base of the tooth). The patient is often given antibiotics as a safeguard and pain medication for severe cases. At this time, the access point is protected with a temporary covering until a final restoration is applied. Without root canal treatment, tooth loss would be the only other option.

Once your dentist is satisfied the root canal was successful (absence of infection) a permanent restoration can be applied to seal the tooth. In most cases, this involves a dental crown.

You might think just having the tooth removed would be a better option; however, a missing tooth can present other issues such as chewing difficulties and appearance changes. Remaining teeth may shift toward the newly open space creating a malocclusion.

Saving your tooth is almost always the best option. And though root canals have the reputation of being very difficult and somewhat uncomfortable, this is totally undeserved. The procedure is brief, and upon completion, there is no evidence a problem ever existed.

For more information, contact Erickson Dental at 972-717-0077 today.