Do You Need a Root Canal?

If you experience any sudden lingering pain or discomfort with a tooth, the first thing you want to do is book an appointment with your family dentist in Red Deer. In the days preceding the appointment, you may read up about your symptoms or type of pain and are quite likely to come across the term, ‘root canal’. Contrary to common belief, a root canal procedure is not something that you need to dread. If your dentists recommends this treatment, it is usually to save your tooth and extend its life span.

What is a Root Canal Treatment?
Sometimes the pulp of nerves and blood vessels in your tooth can get infected or damaged due to dental decay, a cracked or broken tooth, or an injury to your tooth. This is when your dentist will recommend root canal therapy, also known as endodontic therapy. During the procedure, the infected nerve or pulp will be extracted, and the inside of your tooth will be cleaned and sealed.

Symptoms that Potentially Need a Root Canal
You may experience various symptoms that are indicative of an infected or damaged pulp:
• Mild or intense tooth pain is one of the most common symptoms. Depending on the extent of the damage, the pain may either be continuous or only when you bite down on the tooth.
• You may experience prolonged sensitivity to hot foods or liquids.
• Your gums may feel sensitive or tender, or there may be a swelling near the problem area.

Determining the Need for a Root Canal
To determine the reason for your symptoms, your dentist will first examine the affected area and take X-rays. After a proper diagnosis, you will be advised on the best course of action. Depending on the exact problem, you may be recommended a root canal or referred to an endodontist (specialist who treats nerve damage). If the damage is reversible through any other different and less intrusive procedure, your dentist will inform you about that too.

Root Canal Procedure
If you have been recommended to undergo a root canal procedure, you can expect the following steps to occur over a few visits to the dental clinic:
• X-Rays: Your dentist will examine the current X-rays, and possibly compare them with previous X-rays to show you the extent and location of the damage.
• Anesthesia: Local anesthesia will be administered to the affected area so that you feel no pain.
• Pulpectomy: Your dentist will make an opening and remove the affected tooth pulp.
• Filling: The roots that were opened to remove the affected pulp will be filled with a semi-solid material called gutta-percha and sealed off with cement.

Do not hesitate to speak to your Red Deer dentist if you are facing any of the symptoms mentioned here. To schedule an appointment at Parkland Mall Dental Centre, call 403-342-1118 or use our online contact form. We welcome new dental patients to contact us.