If you ever have a toothache and need to consult the dentist, they diagnose the condition depending on the varying intensity and duration of the pain. One of the treatment options they may suggest is a root canal procedure to relieve you from the pain. During a root canal procedure, your dentist typically uses instruments and substances that shape and disinfect the root canal system. Following this, the canal is filled with an appropriate material to save your natural tooth.
What Are The Signs Indicating You Need a Root Canal Procedure?
Tooth decay is a dynamic process. At every stage, the signs and symptoms change with the progress of the disease. Each disease or condition may progress to another when left untreated. Hence, the signs and symptoms vary depending on the stage of the disease when the patient visits for a root canal treatment. Also, it is noteworthy that pain perception varies among individuals, and their emotional status may influence pain.
Many times, signs and symptoms overlap with other conditions. So dentists perform root canal treatment only after proper assessment with a clinical exam and radiograph. The most common sign is the pain. Other signs & symptoms may be:
- Tenderness to biting pressure and percussion;
- A crack in the tooth extending up to the pulp cavity;
- Tooth fractures;
- Gum swelling;
- Pus discharge through a tiny gum boil;
- Loose teeth with gum infection spreading reverse into the root canal;
- Abscess formation;
- Cyst formation.
Identifying the Source of Dental Pain and Discomfort
A sharp shooting type of pain in a decayed tooth involving the pulp tissue starts with the consumption of hot food. It may linger for minutes or hours, even after removing stimuli, and is typically a dull ache or throbbing type of pain.
Another common sign is a spontaneous or unprovoked initiation of pain that may wake the individual at night or, worse, while in a lying-down position. Typically, the pain may fan out as it arises from the ear and may affect the same side of the face. It can be difficult for the individual to pinpoint the source.
As the infection progresses, if it affects the tissue around the root apex, you may show signs of tenderness to biting pressure and striking of the tooth. Dynamic changes occur in an inflamed pulp and an individual with no symptoms may experience severe pain within hours. On examination, they may concurrently have deep caries, extensive or fractured restoration, pins, etc.
Root Canal Infection & Its Causes
Some cases of tenderness on biting pressure imply a cracked tooth. A fracture in the tooth is similar and can be addressed with restorative dentistry. In both instances, a passage may exist that helps microbes infect the pulp core. Swelling in the gums resulting from gum infection extending from the tooth is possible. Sometimes, you may get a gum boil because the infection from the root canals spreads into the space around the teeth. It may resolve spontaneously with a pus discharge. These gum boils tend to occur frequently and can cause bone loss, leading to loose teeth. A root canal procedure may stop the recurrence.
In such instances, the tooth may have an infection that spreads reverse into the tooth from the surrounding gums. Abscess formation can occur when gum disease or gum boils remain untreated. Even otherwise, it can occur as an extension of the infected pulp into tissues surrounding the root. Draining the pus from the abscess to reduce the swelling can depend on the circumstances. Dentists can establish a drain by gaining access to the root canal system.
A long-standing infection around the root apex can progress into a cyst and may additionally require surgery for its removal..
You may need root canal treatment if you face any of the above problems. Studies suggest higher chances of tooth survival with root canal treatment when an individual gets it before the infection spreads in the root apex area.
What is the Root Canal Procedure?
In an outline, a root canal procedure is a dental treatment method for an infected tooth and involves completely removing decay that has spread into the pulp tissue (the only living part of the tooth containing the blood vessels and nerves).
Dentists remove the decay after locally numbing the tooth and, in this process, gain access to the pulp cavity. This step commonly eases pain. Once the pulp cavity is open, they remove the infected pulp tissue from the tooth pulp cavity and the root canals. A collective term for pulp cavities and root canals is root canal systems. The root canal system undergoes disinfection using various chemicals. Together with the root canal instruments that shave the canal walls, they do away with the microbial attachments. After disinfection, they seal the root canals with specific filling materials that resist re-infection and provide relief.
Recovery After a Root Canal Procedure
Studies have shown significant pain reduction after a root canal treatment, especially in the first two days. The severity of pain by the 7th day is less than 10%. The operating dentist may advise the patient to refrain from chewing on the treated side until they place a permanent crown.
Root Canal Procedure Cost
The cost of root canal treatment can depend on various factors. To list a few are the location, affected tooth, use of materials, equipment and expertise of the dentist. Root canal treatment is more appropriate in comparison to implant. However, this does not imply retreatment cases accompanied by periapical surgery. At Trafalgar Dental Oakville, we offer a free dental consultation to our patients, during which we will provide the estimate for the required procedure/s based on the patient’s dental health and needs.
Importance of a Dental Professional & Timely Intervention
It is always beneficial to take preventive actions and also visit the dentist regularly. A professional can provide early detection of tooth decay that may be treated with dental fillings, which always helps individuals in the long term. However, if the decay progresses further, root canal procedures are inevitable. Alternatively, one might even consider pulling the tooth out. However, rehabilitation is relatively challenging after a tooth extraction.
Individuals must undoubtedly opt for root canal treatment whenever signs hint at it, as this is the most feasible way to save the natural tooth. At Trafalgar Dental Oakville, we offer complete dental care for patients of all ages. Schedule an appointment today for a personal consultation with our dental expert.