If your dentist has recommended seeing an endodontist about a tooth that may need a root canal, you may be asking yourself if having a root canal is absolutely necessary?
What is a Root Canal?
During root canal treatment, an endodontist who specializes in such treatment carefully removes the pulp inside the tooth, cleans, disinfects, and shapes the root canals, and places a filling to seal the space.
For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. Discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Follow your endodontist’s instructions carefully.
How Do You Know If You Need a Root Canal?
Although a toothache can be a sign that you need to see an endodontist, sometimes teeth with more subtle symptoms might need endodontic treatment as well. Even if you are not in pain, if you are experiencing prolonged sensitivity to heat or chewing on a tooth, it could be a sign that you should see an endodontist.
Another sign that you might need to see an endodontist could be if you notice a small bubble on the gum around your tooth. This bubble is called a fistula, which can be a sign of an infected tooth nerve that must be treated by an endodontist.
Since endodontists have expertise in diagnosing the reason for tooth pain and saving teeth, if you are experiencing a toothache don’t wait to make an appointment for an endodontic evaluation.
Root Canal vs Extraction
If possible, it is better to save a tooth than to immediately default to extracting a tooth. Root canals haven’t always had the best reputation, but advances in technology have greatly improved patient comfort during and after the procedure.
While the ideal outcome of endodontic treatment is to save the tooth, your endodontist may conclude that your tooth was unable to be saved. Here are several reasons why your endodontist may opt to remove a tooth rather than proceed with treatment:
- Natural tooth structure destruction
- Periodontal issues/Gum Disease
- Root Resorption
- Fractured roots
- Problems with the tissue surrounding the root
- Issues with adjacent teeth
If you think you may need a root canal, call today to schedule a consultation at Cumberland Valley Endodontics.