The need for a root canal arises when a tooth becomes infected on the inside due to a crack or break in the tooth. This infection can spread easily to the areas surrounding the tooth (other teeth, bone, gum tissue) and begin to cause inflammation and pain. Cavities that are left untreated may very well need root canal therapy in the near future. Preventing the infection from spreading is going to be your best option to save your tooth or teeth – so if you’re asking yourself, “do I need root canal therapy?” chances are, it’s time for a phone call to your dentist.
How Does Root Canal Therapy Work?
If you need a root canal, chances are most of the inside of your tooth is already decayed. Your dentist will go into your tooth, remove the nerve and other damage inside your tooth (usually called the pulp), and finish the procedure by sealing their work inside your tooth. Sealing your tooth ensures that no further bacteria will enter the cleaned area, and a filling is placed to cover the holes that were made in order to remove the infected area.
It could take a week or so for your dentist to get your infection under control – they may choose to clear up your infection with a medication inside your tooth and then may seal it a week or so later. However, after you are bacteria-free, you may choose to restore the tooth that was damaged. Dental crowns come with a multitude of benefits and are a great means of restoration for your mouth.
When Should I Call My Dentist?
You should make a phone call to your dentist if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
Tooth Sensitivity When Chewing
Prolonged Sensitivity To Extreme Temperatures
Sudden Tooth Discoloration
How Can You Prevent Needing A Root Canal?
A regular (annual or biannual) visit to your dentist for a professional cleaning will typically get the job done and prevent your teeth from ever needing a root canal. However, in some circumstances your dentist may recommend they see you more often – maybe you have issues with plaque and tartar control, maybe you’re pregnant (your hormones could make you more susceptible to gum disease), or maybe you need guidance to clean your teeth – whatever the reason, your dentist will always be able to clean your teeth better with their equipment than you can at home with your toothbrush.
However, practicing good oral hygiene at home (brushing and flossing twice per day) will help to prevent your teeth from decaying or becoming infected.
ABOUT YOUR WACO, TX, DENTIST:
We look forward to providing families with exceptional care and advanced treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Corbet Locke, DDS, contact our Waco, TX, dental office today by calling 254-776-4888. Our office welcomes patients in and around Waco, TX, including Hewitt, McGregor, Woodway, and the surrounding Central Texas communities.