When Do You Need a Root Canal?

Root canals are a rather common type of dental treatment. They are usually needed to treat a severely infected tooth.

A successful root canal can help save your tooth from permanent loss, which is why it’s so important to see the dentist right away if you need one.

Don’t know if you need a root canal in Oak Park? Here’s how to tell:

Signs You May Need a Root Canal

To determine if you do need a root canal, a dentist will take a dental X-Ray to see what’s going on inside the tooth. If the x-ray shows the tooth’s pulp is damaged by the bacteria, then they will perform a root canal right away.

X-rays are a way to confirm the tooth is badly infected and needs a root canal, but there are more signs you can watch out for, such as:

  • Loose tooth
  • Sharp pain (which is worse when biting or chewing)
  • Heightened sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks
  • Swelling
  • Abscess formation

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to see a dentist right away, as you’re most likely dealing with a pulp infection.

Don’t assume you can fix the issue on your own with antibiotics. Pulp infections can only be treated through a root canal, and the antibiotics themselves may only help if the infection has spread to other parts of the body, such as the jawbone.

How Does a Root Canal Work?

A root canal involves removing all the infected tissue from the inside of the tooth. You’ll be given a local anesthetic or sedative to help you feel calm and remove your discomfort. The dentist then opens the tooth and begins to remove the bacteria and damaged pulp from the inside, and all the way down from your tooth’s canals.

Once all this infected tissue is removed, there are 2 options:

  • Getting a filling - Fillings are a common way to restore the tooth after a cavity or root canal procedure. It’s a sturdy and tooth-color material applied directly on the tooth, reshaped by the dentist, and then hardened;
  • Getting a dental crown - If the infection was severe and the dentist needed to remove a lot of tooth tissue, a filling may not be enough to restore the tooth. In these cases, you’ll usually need to get a dental crown, which will go on top of the damaged tooth

Think You May Need a Root Canal? Stop by Wesley C. Wise, DDS & Assoc., LTD

Root canals are considered an emergency dental procedure. The more you ignore a tooth infection, the higher the risk of permanent tooth loss.

Don’t let this happen. Dr. Wesley Wise is here to help treat your tooth infection and restore your oral health.

To get started, please book a consultation at Wesley C. Wise, DDS & Assoc., LTD online, or call us at (708) 524-0330 for an emergency appointment.