Have you ever wondered how you'll be able to tell if you ever need a root canal? Although your dentist will provide a definitive diagnosis, there are a few signs you may notice. Ann Arbor, MI, dentists Drs. Meridith and Bart Hall of Progressive dental perform root canals and provide other dental treatments that help you protect your smile.
What is a root canal?
Root canals replace infected or inflamed tooth pulp with flexible rubber fillings. The process is very similar to the steps used to fill teeth damaged by tooth decay. After your Ann Arbor dentist opens your tooth, he or she will remove the pulp, then clean the center of the tooth thoroughly. Tiny files will also be used to shape the small canals that extend into your roots. After adding a little antibiotic paste to the tooth, a temporary filling will be added to allow time for drainage. If your dentist is satisfied with the condition of your tooth, the permanent filling will be added during your next appointment in a week or two. In most cases, you'll also need a crown to help strengthen the tooth.
How can I tell if I need a root canal?
Many people experience a toothache if they have an inflammation or infection in their pulp. Pain may be severe, but that's not always the case. You may only notice mild pain that comes and goes initially. If you don't pay a visit to the dentist at this point, the pain may intensify and become more constant. You may also notice that chewing with the tooth sends jolts of pain through your mouth.
Has a tooth suddenly become sensitive to hot and cold temperatures? A pulp inflammation or infection may be to blame. Pain can intensify and remain heightened for as long as 30 minutes after you eat or drink.
Your tooth may not only hurt but might also look a little different. If your tooth looks darker than surrounding teeth, you may have a problem inside the pulp. Gum changes may also accompany inflammations or infections. You may notice that your gums hurt, look red and feel swollen.
It's particularly important to call the dentist immediately if you notice signs of a bacterial infection called a dental abscess. Common signs and symptoms include facial swelling, a pimple-like bump on the gum, fever, swollen lymph nodes, or pus around the tooth.
Keep your smile healthy with root canal therapy? If you experience any of these signs and symptoms, call Ann Arbor, MI, dentists Drs. Meridith and Bart Hall of Progressive Dental at (734) 930-4022 to schedule an appointment.