Mention a root canal and many patients’ eyes get wide with concern. But the procedure itself can save your tooth from extraction and prevent future infections. The alternative is to extract your missing tooth and replace it with a bridge or dental implant, a longer and more costly option than a root canal.
So what does a root canal accomplish? It stops infection in its tracks to prevent damage to your tooth and usually saves you from tooth loss.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal involves cleaning out an infection of the pulp contained within the root and sealing it to alleviate discomfort. The reason many patients fear this procedure is that your dentist will need to enter the root canal to access the pulp. While you won’t feel much during the procedure, you will be sore for a few days after.
Signs You Need a Root Canal
Most patients come to our office in the Monrovia area because they have severe tooth pain, but there are several warning signs that indicate you need a root canal:
- Teeth are more sensitive than usual to hot or cold. This lasts even after the source of heat or cold has been removed.
- Stained tooth that is darker than other your other teeth.
- Swollen gum tissue.
These symptoms are the initial warning signs that you may need a root canal. If you continue to wait then you have a higher chance of developing a very painful toothache.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Root Canal?
Monrovia patients who come in for a root canal are already experiencing pain from the infection of their pulp. Though treatment may make your teeth sore for a few days, or even a week, the long-term benefits include:
- Saving the tooth from decay and infection.
- Avoiding restorations such as dental implants and a dental bridge, which are even more invasive than a root canal.
- Pain relief after the initial soreness wears off.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Q will evaluate your health and review your medical history to make sure you are a good candidate. Most Monrovia patients in good health are excellent candidates for a root canal, but you should inform Dr. Q if you have any medical conditions so that she can explain any related complications that may occur.