Even with all the dental advancements to replace missing teeth, none can quite compare to your natural teeth.
This is why if you have an infection deep in the pulp of your teeth, you benefit from a root canal. This relatively simple procedure preserves the root, shape, and function of a natural tooth, so your speech, face shape, and ability to chew aren’t affected.
Here’s what the dental providers at South Plains Rural Health Services want you to know about root canals and why, if you need one, you shouldn’t delay the procedure.
Why would I need a root canal?
A root canal is a procedure that repairs a tooth with an infection that was caused by tooth decay or injury. An infection first affects the pulp of your tooth. This central portion of your tooth contains blood vessels and nerves that are critical to your tooth’s original development, but serve no real purpose once your tooth is mature.
During a root canal, your dental professional removes the infected pulp and preserves the solid enamel and root that make up your tooth’s structure.
You need this procedure because, without it, your tooth will continue to decay, and it can lead to loss of your tooth. The infection may potentially spread to other teeth and infect your gums and the bone in your jaw, too.
Root canals fortify your tooth, get rid of the infection, and help you maintain a natural smile.
How do I know I have a tooth infection?
Early intervention when you have a tooth infection means you have a good chance of saving the tooth. Symptoms to watch for include:
- Temperature sensitivity when eating and drinking
- Tooth and gum pain
- Swollen gums or sores on the gums
- Cracked or damage to a tooth
- Darkening tooth and/or gums
These aren’t symptoms that will go away on their own. Don’t avoid treatment to “wait out” the infection and hope it resolves without treatment. The longer you avoid a dental visit and root canal, the more likely you’ll lose the tooth and risk spread of the infection.
Is a root canal my only option?
The only other option for an infected tooth is to have it removed altogether. You’ll then need a tooth replacement to prevent bone loss in the jaw. Implants are a valid replacement option, but they are expensive and time-consuming.
Dentures replace the outer part of your tooth, but don’t replace the tooth root. You’ll likely experience degradation of your bone and possible changes in your facial structure.
Root canals are much more simple and usually effective in saving your tooth.
Will a root canal hurt?
Your dental provider numbs the area to be treated, so you won’t feel anything during your root canal. The procedure actually resolves the infection that’s causing you pain.
Following your root canal, you may have a mild ache and discomfort. The pain is minimal to the pain you’d feel if the infection was left untreated.
Get the dental care you need by contacting South Plains Rural Health Services. This includes regular cleanings, treatment for tooth pain, and root canals. Call the nearest location today, or use the online tool to set up an appointment.