Get to the Root of the Matter: Do You Need a Root Canal?

Get to the Root of the Matter: Do You Need a Root Canal?

by Shearly (SU)

Are you living with tooth pain and swelling in your mouth? If so, something detrimental may be brewing just below the surface. Like the hidden, molten layers of the earth, or the tip of an iceberg that bobs in the water giving no clue to its true size what isnt visible at first glance can be quite different once you take a closer peek.


Endodontics is the branch of dentistry that concerns the pulp and tissues surrounding the roots of the tooth. According to the American Dental Association, the word Endodontic is derived from the Greek words Endo (Inside) and Odont (tooth). Unlike regular dentists who maintain the health of the teeths outer layers, these highly specialized dentists can diagnose and investigate problems that exist below the gum surface.


When the pulp (soft tissue) of the tooth becomes infected, an abscess can occur that may cause excruciating pain and engorgement. If left untreated, these bacteria can spread causing a bevy of other life-threatening problems within the body. Therefore, its crucial to pay a visit to a dentist if youre experiencing pain below the gums.


Your regular dentist may suggest Endodontic therapy, or root canal therapy (RCT), to preserve your natural teeth. According to the American Association of Endodontists, there are several causes of tooth infection: deep decay, trauma, repeated dental procedures, or a crack or chip. Remember: just because your tooth looks flawless on the outside, it doesn’t mean that an injury doesnt lurk in the inner layers.


Are your gums achy? Are you having difficulty chewing, or feeling sensitivity to cold or hot foods? If so, you may require endodontic care. Swelling or tenderness in the lymph nodes are some other suspicious symptoms, as your body has a way of alerting you about infection.


Heres where things get tricky; sometimes a patient might not be feeling any pain at all. If your dentist tells you that a root canal is required and it comes as a shock to you, they may see something you didnt notice. Darkening of the tooth and the formation of canker sores are red flags to your dental professional.


You may be wondering what a root canal entails. First, an endodontist will look at X-rays of the affected tooth to find out if a root canal, or another dental procedure, is necessary. If RCT is recommended, they will need to extract any damaged nerves and pulp, and supplant them with a placeholder material called Gutta-Percha. However, this is only a temporary fix; your regular dentist will later replace this filling with a crown.


Many people avoid endodontic care due to fear and anxiety about dental pain. However, avoiding treatment will only exacerbate the problem. Utilizing a local anesthetic and modern dental techniques, a trained endodontist can promise minimal to no pain during this procedure.


A full-service operation, 360 Dental, formerly known as Binder Family Dental, offers a comprehensive menu of services. Patients can take care of all their dental needs from cleaning and X-rays to dental implants and restorative services (like root canal) – all in one office. Whether youre experiencing oral pain, or just have some questions, call the dental professionals of 360 Dental Group at 541-689-1645, or request an appointment online.