The Root of The Problem: The Basics of Root Canals and Signs You Need a Root Canal
The Basics of Root Canals and Signs You Need a Root Canal
"Root canal" is one of those phrases everyone dreads, but what's the real deal? Here are the basics and the potential signs you need a root canal.
Of all the dental-related phrases in existence, no phrase strikes more fear into patients' hearts than "root canal". However, a lot of this has to do with misconception.
While root canals certainly aren't the most pleasant tooth problems in existence, they aren't as bad as most people make them out to be. Generally, they can be assessed and corrected in a short period of time.
Curious as to the signs you need a root canal? Think that you might be suffering from an issue that might require one? Then read on.
Not only are we going to cover the symptoms of root canals, but a bevy of additional root canal-related information as well. Let's get into it.
What is a Root Canal?
Root canals are dental procedures performed in order to treat infected and inflamed tooth pulp. The pulp lies at the roots of teeth, and generally only becomes infected after either serious decay or physical trauma.
When the pulp becomes infected, the only way to relieve the pain it causes is by having it removed. The root canal solves this problem, removing both the decayed pulp and the tooth root that it sits beside.
Signs You Need a Root Canal
The question you might have now is, "do I need a root canal?" There are several signs which may indicate the need for a root canal in Tonawanda. The most common of these signs are as follows.
All teeth become discolored to an extent and not all tooth discoloration is indicative of the need for a root canal. However, if one of your teeth is almost brown in color, it's likely due to a dead root. The only way you relieve pain and stop the spread of decay in the tooth is by undergoing a root canal procedure.
Temperature-Related Tooth Sensitivity
Another sign that you may need a root canal is if either hot or cold foods cause you extreme tooth sensitivity. These foods include everything from ice cream, to tea, to coffee, to ice, and more.
Pressure-Related Tooth Sensitivity
Not only is temperature-related tooth sensitivity a cause for concern, but pressure-related tooth sensitivity as well. If you feel a sharp pain in one of your teeth every single time you bite down, there is undoubtedly something wrong with it.
While it might not necessarily need a root canal, it very well could. Whatever the case may be, you should have it checked out by a dentist.
Chipped teeth are often the start of the pulp decaying process. After all, once the interior of the tooth becomes exposed to external bacteria, it's left vulnerable. Therefore, if you have a chipped tooth, a root canal might be on the horizon.
Severe Tooth Decay
The source of a tooth pulp infection is tooth decay. The bacteria which come with tooth decay sometimes travel to the root of a tooth, causing it to become infected. Therefore, if your teeth are decayed severely, there's a decent chance that you might require a root canal.
Gingivitis goes hand-in-hand with tooth decay. Swollen gums are a common symptom of gingivitis. So, if your gums are swollen on a regular basis, you might be in need of a root canal procedure.
What Does a Root Canal Procedure Entail?
Unlike cavity fillings, root canal procedures generally happen over several dental sessions.
In your first session, your dentist will assess your affected tooth and make the determination that it does, indeed, require a root canal procedure. This appointment will be a quick and simple one and will provide you with an opportunity to ask questions and voice concerns.
At your next appointment, the root canal itself will take place. First, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic, numbing your mouth so as to relieve any pain or discomfort.
Then, your dentist will use a drill to hollow out your tooth, ridding it of its pulp and root in the process. This stops the spread of decay, eliminating infection and inflammation.
Next, your dentist will insert a synthetic material into your tooth, replacing the just-removed pulp and root. To keep it in place, he or she will then apply a temporary cap.
This temporary cap will remain until your next appointment, at which your dentist will apply a permanent crown. At this point, your root canal will be completed.
Recovering from a Root Canal
While root canals aren't painless, they aren't gut-wrenching either. You are likely to feel some discomfort after you have had your tooth drilled, but this pain shouldn't prevent you from living your life as usual. Plus, it will usually subside within a day or two.
To relieve pain in the meantime, you would be wise to take Tylenol, apply cold packs, and stay away from hard foods. You might also want to utilize a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your teeth.
How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?
Perhaps you're interested in getting a root canal, but are unsure as to whether or not you'll be able to afford the procedure? While root canals are oftentimes more expensive than other dental procedures, they're not priced unreasonably. Considering the level of pain that they're capable of relieving, they're usually worth the expense.
Generally, a root canal for an incisor will cost between $500 and $1,000. For a molar, you can expect to pay between $800 and $1,500.
These prices, of course, imply that you don't have dental insurance. If you do have dental insurance, it will likely partially cover a root canal procedure. High-end dental insurance might even cover the procedure in its entirety.
In Need of a Root Canal in Tonawanda, New York?
Are you demonstrating any of the signs you need a root canal? Looking to see a dentist in the Tonawanda, New York area? If so, Doc Danzinger is the dentist to see.
Contact the office today to schedule an appointment!