Have you been ignoring pain in a tooth because you're afraid you might need a root canal? Many people share the same fear. Fortunately, the reality is much different than the jokes you may have heard about root canals. Our Fresno, CA, dentist, Dr. Curt Posey, can save your tooth and end your pain.
Why are root canals performed?
Root canals treat infection or inflammation that develop in your tooth's pulp. If you don't have the treatment, you will eventually lose your tooth.
What signs will I notice if I need a root canal?
Everyone doesn't experience the same symptoms when they need a root canal. Some people may have severe, constant pain, while others may barely have any pain. Any pressure on the tooth, whether you press on it with your finger or chew, can increase pain. You may also notice more pain when you drink a glass of cold water or sip a cup of coffee. Extreme temperatures can irritate the nerves in the pulp, causing pain that can continue even after you finish your drink.
Swelling in the gum tissue around an infected or inflamed tooth may be a sign that you could benefit from a root canal. Did your tooth suddenly turn brown, gray or black? Darkening can be an indication that the therapy is needed.
If the tooth becomes abscessed, you may notice a significant increase in pain, accompanied by facial swelling, swollen lymph nodes and a fever. If you examine your mouth, you might even notice that a small pus-filled pimple has developed on your gum next to the tooth. Abscesses are dental emergencies. If you notice any of these symptoms, call our Fresno office as soon as possible.
What actually happens during a root canal?
Pain is the chief concern of many people who undergo a root canal. Luckily, local anesthetics totally block pain during the procedure. If concerns about pain have kept you from seeking treatment, you may want to consider oral, inhaled or intravenous sedation. Thanks to sedation, you'll experience no pain and will be relaxed and calm during the treatment.
Once you're completely numb, the pulp is removed and the center portion and canals of your tooth are cleaned, filed and shaped. Antibiotics may also be placed in the tooth to prevent or treat the infection. Adding a rubber-based filling seals and protects the tooth. Because root canal therapy can weaken teeth, you may need a crown to protect your tooth.
Worried about possible root canal symptoms? Call our Fresno, CA, dentist, Dr. Posey, at (559) 227-6755 to schedule an appointment.