Do you need a root canal surgery?

Do you need a root canal surgery?

A root canal is a standard dental procedure. It is meant to clean out decay in your tooth’s pulp and root. The outside layer of your teeth is enamel. The second layer is dentin, and the core is soft with an extension to the root in your jawbone. 

The core of your teeth contains dental pulp. It consists of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. If the decay gets into the core, the dental pulp can become inflamed, infected or dead. 

In this event, you might need to have root canal surgery. 

Root canal surgery gets a bad rap.

People dread getting a root canal. The procedure is known for the expected pain level involved. However, with the proper anaesthesia at the hands of a dental health professional, you shouldn’t feel too much discomfort. 

This is why it is essential to go to a registered practitioner. Having dental insurance like Affinity Dental ensures that you receive service from only certified professionals. You can choose from a list of dentists from a network. 


The procedure

In a root canal procedure, the dentist will remove the bacteria and decay from the tooth pulp, root and nerve. Antibiotics disinfect the area. The dentist will fill the bare roots and seal the area. The treatment will leave your natural tooth in place. You can prevent decay, but your tooth becomes more fragile. A tooth after a root canal normally has a crown. 

How do you know when you need a root canal? Some of the below symptoms indicate that you do need one:

Persistent pain

Persisting tooth pain is a sign that you may need a root canal. The pain may persist, but it can go away and come back from time to time. It will always return. The pain may be in the bone of your tooth, face, jaw or other teeth. 

Suppose the tooth pain does not require a root canal. In that case, other possibilities are gum disease, a cavity, pain from a sinus infection or other problem, a damaged filling or an impacted and infected tooth. 

It is best to see your doctor at your earliest convenience if you have persisting tooth pain.

Sensitivity to heat and cold

A tooth may hurt when eating warm food or feel sensitive when drinking ice cold water. The pain may feel dull or sharp. If the pain lingers even when you stop eating or drinking, you may need a root canal.

A hurting tooth can indicate infected or damaged blood vessels and nerves in your tooth. 

Tooth discolouration

An infection in the pulp of your tooth can cause discolouration. A grey-black appearance of your tooth may come from trauma to the tooth. Broken down internal tissue can damage the roots and result in discolouration. The discolouration is easy to see in a front tooth. 

Tooth discolouration could have other causes. Consult your dentist if your tooth changes colours. 

Swollen gums

According to Healthline, a swollen gum around a painful tooth is a potential issue that requires a root canal. The swelling may come and go. The gum may be tender to the touch.

Swelling derives from acidic waste products of dead pulp tissues. This can lead to swelling outside the root tip area. 

The swollen gum can be from a pimple on your gum – possibly a gum boil, parulis or abscess.

Chipped or cracked tooth

A chipped tooth can lead to bacteria setting in and causing inflammation and infection. The injured tooth damages the nerves of the tooth. The nerve can become inflamed. The pain and sensitivity may require a root canal. 

Does a root canal hurt?

The procedure does seem scary. However, it isn’t much different to having a deep filling. There will be no pain. Your dentist will use local anaesthesia to numb your tooth and gums.

If you have facial swelling or a fever, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics first to kill the infection. The antibiotics will reduce your pain. 

How do I prevent a root canal?

To prevent a root canal, follow the same dental hygiene habits that prevent cavities and other related problems.

Get into the habit of brushing your teeth twice a day. Floss at least once a day and use fluoride toothpaste or rinse. 

Visit your dentist for a check-up every six months. Clean your teeth professionally at the dentist once a year. Limit your intake of sugary food and refined carbohydrates. These foods stick to your teeth. Rinse your mouth or brush your teeth after having sugary foods. 


Risks of a root canal

A root canal is performed to save your tooth. Sometimes, however, the damage is too severe, or the enamel is too frail to withstand the procedure, Healthline explains. These factors can lead to loss of the tooth.

Another risk is developing an abscess at the tooth’s root if some of the infected material remains behind.

If you’re nervous about having a root canal performed, you can talk to your dentist about getting an extraction instead. 

Professional help

See your dentist if you feel that you cannot handle the discomfort of your tooth pain. The procedure provokes fear, but almost all people feel better after the procedure.


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