When Do You Need A Root Canal?

When Do You Need A Root Canal?

by Yenny (SU)

Root canal therapy – most people refer to it as simply “a root canal” – is a procedure that allows your dentist to save what he can of the tooth by removing the damaged or infected pulp. The thought of a root canal can induce anxiety in many people, and it’s mostly due to misinformation. Thanks to new techniques, painful root canals are a thing of the past. If your dentist advises you to have a root canal, don’t put it off; otherwise you could lose the entire tooth or risk the spread of infection. Here are some examples of when you may need a root canal.

Persistent pain

Protected by the hard outer layer of enamel and below that, dentin, your tooth can withstand chips, cavities and any number of dental concerns. However, when the soft inner pulp – which contains the tooth’s blood vessels and nerves -- becomes compromised, an infection can occur and with it, debilitating pain. If you are experiencing pain, then an infection is likely. The best way to remedy the pain is to eliminate the infection, in many cases this is done by performing a root canal.

Swollen or Tender Gums

If you notice your gum swelling toward the front tip of the root, or perhaps a growth or boil that is not going away on its own, then you may need a root canal. If the swelling or bump is accompanied by pain, drainage or pus, or see a bulge around the gumline, see your dentist immediately for an evaluation.

Bad Breath

If your breath smells bad or “bloody,” it could be an indication of an infection; without treatment it could cause the tooth to decay, resulting in sore, bleeding gums and even tooth loss of one or more teeth. A root canal may be in order to remove the inner part of the tooth that has started to decay.

Broken or Damaged Tooth

Just because a tooth is damaged or broken doesn’t mean the tooth has to be extracted. In these cases, your dentist may recommend a crown to be placed over the remaining tooth. To do this, your dentist will perform a root canal to remove the damaged pulp, then bond a custom-made crown to the remaining part of the tooth for full functionality and to complete the aesthetic of natural teeth.

Preventive Care

Cavities can easily lead to tooth decay, and infection can spread quickly. One of the most effective preventive methods of preventing decay is having regular dental check-ups, in addition to conscientious brushing and flossing. A cavity found early requires much less intervention than one that has developed into widespread decay.  The same is true of failing to seek medical attention for an ear, sinus or other infection, which could spread to your teeth or any other part of the body.

Root Canals in Eugene

Dental issues? Your dentist can determine the extent of the problem and whether you need a root canal or not. If you live in or around the greater Eugene area and are seeking world-class dental care, look no further than 360 Dental, where Dr. Ari Binder and his compassionate, caring staff have been helping Oregonians achieve their healthiest, most beautiful smiles. Thinking about implants? Dr. Binder is a member of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry and stays up-to-date with the latest advancements in implants. If you have questions about a root canal or other dental service, or you are seeking dental care for your family, call 360 Dental at (541) 689-1645 or request an appointment.