When the bacterial cells from decay get near or into the nerve, or pulp chamber, inside a tooth, the tooth can become inflamed or infected. As the inflammatory cells build, you may experience various forms of pain.
Key Signs/Symptoms that Indicate You May Need a Root Canal:
- Throbbing pain with hot and cold food/drink
- Severe pain on biting or chewing on the tooth
- Pain that wakes you up in the middle or the night or gives you a headache in the morning
- Spontaneous pain even if you are not doing anything or provoking the tooth
- Significant swelling of the gums in one localized area
- Notice of a bubble or pimple on the gums
- Sudden change in color or darkness of a tooth
Failure to treat a dental infection can cause serious health issues. If you suspect that you may have an infected tooth, please call our office immediately!
What to Expect:
Many patients have had historically unpleasant root canal experiences. Rest assure that you will be completely numb for your procedure and we will do all we can to keep you relaxed and comfortable.
In order to resolve the inflammation and pain, as well as remove the bacteria that is causing the infection, we will remove the infected nerve and clean the inside of the roots. If your tooth was extremely infected, we may decide to place a medication inside the canals of the tooth for a couple of weeks in order to disinfect the tooth and allow the inflammatory cells to “calm down”. A temporarily filling will cover the top of the tooth between visits. Once we are confident we have completely cleaned the canals, the roots will be filled and sealed with a permanent antibacterial substance that provides strength and helps to prevent the tooth from becoming re-infected.
After your root canal is complete, it is not uncommon to still feel tenderness or even pain that is similar to the pain you had prior to your appointment. Because of this, it is also likely that we may prescribe you an antibiotic for after the procedure.
Finally, you will need a permanent restoration after your root canal. Literature has shown that root canaled teeth have proven to have a higher chance of fracture and therefore, root canaled teeth usually require a full-coverage crown afterwards.