Severe tooth pain can cause discomfort and distraction to your everyday activities. Plus, an infection in a tooth impacts your overall health if left unresolved. A root canal offers an effective treatment for many patients by removing infection and restoring oral health. Often, a root canal gives patients an alternative to extraction to save the natural tooth. But a common question is, When do you need a root canal? We compiled a list of symptoms that might tell you when it’s time.
What Is a Root Canal?
Root canal therapy removes infection and restores the tooth. The exposed area of a severely decayed, cracked, or chipped tooth can allow bacteria to seep into the tooth’s root. The soft tissue becomes infected, and the blood vessels and nerves can die.
The dentist begins by drilling into the tooth to clean out the infected or damaged pulp. After removing the pulp and any infected tissue, the dentist fills the area. The newly strengthened tooth typically receives a crown as a protective cover.
Root canals have a bad reputation as being invasive and painful. However, we’ve successfully helped hundreds of patients find relief and restoration with root canal therapy. We use the best methods and our vast experience to minimize discomfort and make the patient experience easier.
Read our Root Canal Therapy Guide!
Symptoms that Require a Root Canal
Dental symptoms can point to several different issues. For example, tooth sensitivity can point to an infection or periodontal disease. It is always best to work with a trusted dental team to ensure your condition receives a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Severe Tooth Pain
Dental pain is common with many oral health issues. However, severe pain, especially in a damaged tooth or one where you’ve already had a filling, probably has an infection. When the infection enters the tooth’s root, the dentist must clean out the infected area to avoid the condition worsening.
Darkening of Enamel
When a tooth darkens from the inside out, this indicates an infection in the tooth pulp. Discoloration that requires tooth whitening appears on the surface of the tooth. With infection, the tooth darkens as the tissue inside the tooth dies.
Cracked or Chipped Tooth
Anytime you have an injury to a tooth, it’s best to visit your dentist for guidance. Bonding or another less invasive procedure may resolve minor chips. However, when a crack or chip allows bacteria inside the tooth, a root canal can usually remove the infection and restore the tooth.
Lingering Sensitivity to Hot or Cold
Unlike tooth sensitivity that goes away when you remove the hot or cold substance, an infection in the tooth can cause the pain to linger. The discomfort is a sign of nerve damage.
Swelling of the Gums or an Abscess
Two significant signs you need to see a dentist are gum swelling near the root or a bump or abscess. Both symptoms indicate infection and should be dealt with immediately. Especially with abscesses, not dealing with the issue can cause the infection to spread.
Work with an Experienced Dental Team
Major dental work requires extensive experience. The purpose of a root canal is to remove infection and restore the tooth. To achieve the best outcome, you need a trusted, compassionate, and experienced dental team on your side.
The Atlanta Smiles team has an excellent reputation backed by our knowledge, accreditations, and expertise. We serve patients throughout the Atlanta area with outstanding dental service. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.