How Do You Know If You Need A Root Canal?

How Do You Know If You Need A Root Canal?

Root canals save millions of natural teeth each year. Although myths about root canals being painful procedures may persist, the reality is that root canals today are fast, painless, and immediately effective in eliminating pain. Although any type of ache or sensitivity in a tooth may be a sign of infection or decay in a tooth, certain telltale signs signify the need for a root canal. Here’s what to look out for, and why you shouldn’t delay treatment for a toothache.

Symptoms of Injury or Infection Inside Your Tooth

A root canal is necessary when a tooth becomes badly decayed, or you develop an infection in the pulp (interior) of a tooth. Any type of tooth pain may indicate that there is severe decay or an infection.  Symptoms of infection or decay in the pulp of a tooth include:

  • Throbbing or “heartbeat” sensation in a tooth
  • Sharp shooting pain, particularly when you bite or chew
  • Visible swelling in the gums
  • Darkening of the tooth relative to the neighboring tooth 
  • Pain while chewing harder foods 
  • Tooth pain initiated by hot drinks and relieved by cold or ice water
  • New sensitivity to hot or cold foods
  • Discoloration of a tooth

What happens during a root canal?

Having a root canal is no big deal, contrary to what you may have heard. Powerful numbing agents ensure that you do not experience pain during the treatment. For especially nervous, fearful, or anxious patients, mild sedation options may also be an option, though this is not required, or necessary for most people.  

During a root canal, the area surrounding the tooth being treated will be completely numbed for your comfort. Then, a small access hole is made to remove the nerve pulp while it is asleep from the local anesthesia.. Once the nerve is removed the pain will be eliminated. All canals inside the tooth will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Some of the canals may be gently reshaped. The canals and chamber will be filled before the tooth is sealed. At a subsequent vist a post or post-core will then be made to provide an peg like structure that will support and accept a  crown.  Once treated you can go on with your normal activities,Usually

No pain medicine is needed ; however an antibiotic is often prescribed to prevent infection and

Aide in healing. 

Can a tooth that needs a root canal heal without treatment?

A tooth that needs a root canal will not heal on its own. When injury, decay, or infection becomes severe enough to cause pain and other symptoms, your options are tooth extraction or a root canal. This is because the infection or decay is deep within the tooth, and cannot be treated without opening the tooth, or pulling the tooth.  

Is a root canal better than having the tooth pulled?

It is always better to preserve natural teeth, wherever possible. Natural teeth have tooth roots that play a crucial role in maintaining the width and volume  of your jaw bone. When teeth are pulled, the jaw bone begins to recede. Eventually, this can cause premature aging and a sunken appearance. In addition, adjacent teeth may begin shifting into the gap left when you pull a tooth. If you have a tooth pulled rather than treated with root canal therapy, you should plan for more restorative dental treatments such as a dental implant, so that you do not lose jaw bone.

By contrast, a root canal leaves the tooth root intact and doesn’t leave a gap in your smile. Your dental crown is custom made to match your other teeth, and function as a normal tooth. All doctors of dentistry advocate for the preservation of natural teeth wherever possible. 

Root Canal Therapy in Scarsdale

At Scarsdale Dental Group we provide comprehensive diagnostics including  Our state of the Art  OP 300 Cone Beam Cat Scanner. Besides single digital radiographs , nerve vitality tests and a completed intra oral exam teh 3D scan provides an infinite number of slices and views to

Confirm the tooth and proper diagnosis. Once it has been established that your tooth is in need of a root canal therapy we will determine if you may be treated in our office or if it is a special case we refer you to our colleagues who specialize in treating more difficult cases.   As a full-service dental practice, Scarsdale Dental Group provides preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry, including Invisalign and dental implants. Contact us today at 914-723-4707  , or request an appointment online.