Do you think you might need a root canal? Dr. Gregory Hysong and Dr. Lynda LePore, your Silver Spring, MD, dentists at Colesville Dentistry, share some signs you may need a root canal and explain how the treatment can help you.
Signs and symptoms
You may need a root canal if you experience any of these signs and symptoms:
- Severe pain in a tooth
- Pain that increases when you chew or put pressure on a tooth
- Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures that continues even after you stop eating or drinking
- Darkening of a tooth
- Swelling gums
If your problem is caused by a dental abscess, you may also notice:
- A pimple on the gum near the tooth
- Swollen lymph nodes
Abscesses are particularly dangerous because the bacteria in the pulp can find its way into your bloodstream. If it reaches your brain or heart, it could trigger a stroke or heart attack.
What causes the problem?
Root canals are used to relieve infections and inflammation in tooth pulp. The pulp is located in the center of a tooth and contains connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels. It can become inflamed due to:
- Tooth trauma caused by an accident or blow to your face
- Severe decay
- A crack that provides a convenient pathway for bacteria to enter your tooth
- Repeated dental procedures on the tooth
What happens during a root canal?
Removing the infected or inflamed pulp not only relieves your symptoms but also saves your tooth. Your Silver Spring dentist drills into your tooth to expose the pulp, then removes it from the center of the tooth and the root canals that extend from the top of your tooth into the roots. After the pulp is removed, your dentist cleans and shapes the canals using tiny files.
They may also add small posts that will support the crown that will be added to the tooth at the completion of the procedure. At the conclusion of your first visit, you'll receive a temporary filling. When you return in about a week, the tooth will be permanently filled and sealed with a durable, rubber-like material.
Are you concerned about a painful tooth? Call Dr. Hysong and Dr. LePore, your Silver Spring, MD, dentists at Colesville Dentistry, at (301) 384-6000 to schedule an appointment.