Root Canal Treatment
Although no patient ever looks forward to needing a root canal treatment, this type of procedure is sometimes necessary to save a severely damaged or infected tooth. A root canal is far preferable to letting the infection spread or losing a natural tooth.

Root canal treatment is often used when the interior part of a tooth, known as the dental pulp, grows inflamed and infected.
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Some signs that this has happened include:

  • Severe pain: Stabbing and sharp pain whenever you are chewing or biting down.
  • Tooth sensitivity: Sensitivity to extreme temperatures, continuing even after the removal of the hot or cold stimulus.
  • Gum changes: The development of small bumps near the base of the tooth or on the gums, which could indicate an abscess.
  • Tenderness and swelling: Tenderness and gum swelling may indicate a persistent infection, particularly when other symptoms are involved.
  The root canal treatment involves the removal of the soft dental pulp found within the center of the tooth. Your dentist will access the tooth and carefully remove the dental pulp, replacing it with an inert material to fill the resulting empty space. The procedure ends with the placement of a dental crown to strengthen the treated tooth. Some signs that you may need a root canal procedure include:

Severe Pain

Any time you experience some type of dental pain, you should definitely contact your dentist. But when it comes to root canal pain, it is even more important to take prompt action to save the tooth. If you should experience sudden pain hitting you like a wave, it is probable that you have a dead or infected tooth that may require a root canal treatment.

Sensitivity

If you have sensitivity to hot or cold foods or beverages, it may indicate the need for a root canal procedure. If you are needing one, you will probably find that pain and sensitivity from extreme temperatures remains with you long after consuming the food or drink.

Changes to Gums

If you have swollen gums, it may indicate an infected tooth. You may have inflamed gums after you vigorously brush or floss your teeth, but this is a different type of situation. In this situation, gums remain swollen long after they are touched.

Cracked or Chipped Tooth

If you recently experienced a cracked or chipped tooth, this may indicate the need for a root canal. The trauma that caused the outward damage may have also led to an infected or inflamed dental pulp. Or the tooth may have already died, leading to it being chipped or cracked. Either way, you will probably require root canal treatment so that you can save the rest of the tooth.

The Bottom Line

Even though many patients dread the thought of needing a root canal, the procedure is actually very beneficial to the patient. Not only does it result in immediate pain relief, it helps you to preserve your original tooth, rather than having a large gap in your smile that could lead to other problems down the road.