There’s nothing quite as miserable as a toothache, and unfortunately, toothaches rarely resolve without treating the underlying cause. In many cases, a root canal can stop the pain of a toothache while addressing its source.
But how do you know if you need a root canal? That’s just the topic that Dr. Roberto Palmieri and our team here at Palmieri Dentistry in Mooresville, North Carolina, explore below.
A root canal is an endodontic (concerned with dental pulp) procedure with three goals: to eliminate infected tooth pulp, to prevent reinfection, and to preserve your tooth. A root canal involves the following steps:
Although root canals have a bad reputation, the reality is they feel similar to routine dental fillings. And the best part: Root canals can stop a toothache at the source.
You might need a root canal if you have:
Although fillings are common treatments for tooth decay, they aren’t the only option. In fact, a root canal might be right if you have severe decay. Whether you need a filling or root canal depends on the location of the decay and how deep it goes. Each tooth has three layers:
If decay only affects your enamel, a filling might be enough. However, if decay extends into your pulp, Dr. Palmieri may recommend a root canal.
Even if you’ve had a filling in the past, you may still benefit from a root canal. Old fillings can become damaged or cracked, allowing bacteria to enter your tooth. If bacteria and decay compromise the health of your tooth, especially the pulp, you may need a root canal.
Damaged crowns can make it easier for bacteria to enter the inner parts of your tooth. Although crowns can last many years, you can reduce the risk of damage by practicing good hygiene, refraining from chewing on non-food items, and never using your teeth as a tool.
Cracked or fractured teeth can result from an acute dental injury or years of teeth grinding or chewing on hard objects such as ice. Thankfully, if you crack a tooth, you don’t necessarily need an extraction. A root canal can preserve your tooth so there’s no need to pull it.
Tooth infections have many causes. A cracked tooth can allow bacteria to enter. Gum disease and decay can also increase your risk of infection. Once infection reaches your pulp, though, you likely need a root canal to stop the infection from spreading and save your tooth.
You might suspect an infection if you see a small, pimple-like bump on your gum. This is an abscess, and it’s a sign infection is present.
Repeated procedures on a single tooth can weaken the tooth over time. Bacteria entering a weakened tooth can lead to chronic pulpitis, a painful condition in which the pulp becomes inflamed.
In the case of irreversible pulpitis, the pulp is dying. Often the only way to save your tooth is with a root canal.
Accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Palmieri works with you to achieve a smile that’s healthy and beautiful. A root canal can help by preserving your tooth. To learn more, call our office at 704-247-6336 or book your appointment online.