Why Would I Need a Root Canal?

Root canals may have a bad reputation as a painful procedure, but the reality is that root canal therapy can help you find relief from painful toothaches. A root canal allows you to save your natural tooth and potentially avoid a tooth extraction.

Below, Dr. Roberto Palmieri, accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, shares five signs that you might benefit from a root canal here at Palmieri Dentistry in Mooresville, North Carolina. 

1. You have deep tooth decay

Many cavities can be treated with a filling, but sometimes a filling isn’t enough to treat decay that’s severe or deep within the tooth. Deep decay can be particularly painful if it impacts the nerves inside your tooth. Thankfully, a root canal can address deep decay without an extraction.

2. You have several cracks or chips in your tooth

If you’ve chipped or cracked your tooth, it creates an opening for bacteria to enter your tooth. Once bacteria set in, you’re more at risk for infection and inflammation. 

Cracks or chips (or other damage to your tooth) can also affect the nerves of your tooth. If your nerves become inflamed, the resulting pain and sensitivity may require root canal therapy.

3. You have an abscess

Abscesses are bacteria-filled bumps, and they can form on your gums, at the tip of your tooth’s roots, or on the gum next to the root of a tooth. If you have a periapical abscess (on the tip of your tooth’s roots), you may benefit from a root canal. 

During a root canal, Dr. Palmieri uses special tools to remove dead tooth tissue, bacteria, pus, and any other damaged tissues. The inside of your tooth is cleaned and then a special filling material is inserted into your tooth, which prevents subsequent infections.

4. You have a severe toothache

There are many reasons why your tooth might hurt, and a root canal can help alleviate pain caused by many conditions. Signs of an infection that may require a root canal include:

Toothaches can develop as a result of many conditions, including decay, referred pain from sinus problems, gum disease, or an impacted tooth. 

No matter what’s causing your toothache, it’s important to seek dental care. Over-the-counter pain medication may temporarily provide relief, but lasting relief is only possible when the root problem is detected and treated. 

Even if a root canal isn’t the right solution for you, we can recommend the treatment that is.

5. Your tooth has suffered nerve damage

Trauma to your tooth can cause cracks or chips in your tooth. Unfortunately, enamel isn’t the only part of your tooth affected by trauma. Trauma also can contribute to the breakdown of the internal tissue (pulp). 

If the blood supply to the tooth is compromised and/or the nerves are damaged, the tooth can die, resulting in a grayish-black appearance. A root canal and a crown can preserve your tooth; even though it’s dead, it doesn’t have to be pulled. A crown protects and strengthens your tooth. 

What to expect from a root canal

We know that the thought of a root canal can be intimidating. There are many myths surrounding this procedure, including that it’s painful. Thanks to modern dentistry, a root canal shouldn’t be any more painful than getting a filling. 

Research shows that even if pre-root canal pain is severe, tooth pain is considerably alleviated in the days and weeks following your root canal.

Rotary endodontics (a tool that allows for an easier and more comfortable root canal) plus a local anesthetic keeps you comfortable during your procedure. 

To learn more about root canals or to make an appointment, call our office at 704-247-6336 or book your visit online.

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