The root canal is one of the most feared procedures in modern dentistry. But this reputation is not really deserved. Since your dentist will use a local anesthetic during the procedure, you really should not feel much at all. Afterwards, you might have a little soreness, but any pain you had before the procedure should have been eliminated. Really, there is no need to fear a root canal. In fact, putting off or delaying the procedure will have far more negative consequences than letting your dentist perform it! If you are dealing with any of these symptoms, you might need to see your dentist for a root canal.
A Throbbing Tooth
If you have a toothache that has a real throbbing quality to it, then there is a good chance you have an infection in and around your tooth roots. A root canal is the best way to remove the infected material while allowing you to keep the tooth in your mouth. Until you are able to get into the dentist's office, you can ease the throbbing pain by taking ibuprofen every 4 - 6 hours, and by holding an ice pack on the outside of your jaw near the painful tooth.
Pus Coming From Near a Tooth
Do you have a pus pocket near your tooth? This is another sure sign of infection. Pus is a mixture of lymph fluid, infectious bacteria, and white blood cells. A tooth abscess usually has to get pretty bad before you actually experience pus emerging into your mouth, so don't delay seeking treatment. Your dentist may want you to take antibiotics for a few days to get the infection under control before they perform a root canal, as this increases the chances of success with the procedure.
A small cavity can usually be treated with a filling. But if the cavity gets too big or deep before you seek treatment, the best approach might be to have a root canal and then have a crown placed on the tooth for support. Signs of serious decay include a large brown spot on your tooth, pain when biting down, or a long-lasting, foul taste in your mouth. Severe decay is most common in those who have not seen their dentist for regular checkups, as dentists often notice decay before it reaches this point.
If you are dealing with any of the issues above, talk to your dentist about having a root canal. It is not a procedure to be feared; in fact, it can be incredibly helpful.
To find out more about needing a root canal. contact a dentist near you.