Can a Root Canal Procedure Save My Tooth?


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Root canal procedures, also known as endodontic treatments, are dental procedures that aim to save a tooth that has become severely infected or decayed. Contrary to popular belief, root canals are not something to fear; in fact, they are often the best option for preserving your natural tooth and avoiding extraction.

Signs and Symptoms That You May Need a Root Canal

Here are some signs and symptoms that may indicate the need for a root canal procedure:

  • Persistent pain is a red flag. If you experience constant or severe pain in your tooth, especially when biting down or applying pressure, it could be a sign of an infection deep within the root. Additionally, sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures that lingers even after removal of the stimulus can point towards nerve damage.
  • Other indicators include gum swelling and tenderness around the affected tooth. This swelling may cause difficulty in chewing or even make it painful to touch the area. The presence of an abscess – a pimple-like bump on your gums – is another indication that something isn't right with your tooth.
  • In some cases, discoloration of the affected tooth may occur as well. It might turn darker than surrounding teeth due to internal bleeding caused by infection or trauma.

It's worth noting that these symptoms don't necessarily guarantee that you need a root canal; however, they should prompt you to seek professional dental advice as soon as possible.

The Process of Getting a Root Canal

The process of getting a root canal may seem daunting, but it is actually quite straightforward and can save your tooth from extraction. Your dentist will conduct a thorough examination to determine if a root canal is necessary. X-rays may be taken to assess the extent of the infection or damage within the tooth.

Once it has been determined that a root canal is required, your dentist will administer local anesthesia to ensure you are comfortable throughout the procedure. This will effectively numb the area around the affected tooth. Next, an access hole will be drilled into the tooth to reach its inner chamber, known as the pulp. The infected or damaged pulp tissue is carefully removed using special instruments, and then the canals are cleaned and shaped to prepare them for filling. After cleaning out all debris and bacteria from inside the tooth, a biocompatible material called gutta-percha is used to fill in and seal off the canals. This helps prevent further infection and restores stability to your natural tooth structure.

In some cases, a temporary filling may be placed over the access hole until a permanent restoration, such as a crown, can be placed on top of your treated tooth at another visit.

If you are interested in learning more, call our office at (225) 261-0043 to schedule an appointment today! We would be happy to get you on the schedule and help answer any questions that you may have.

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