Dupont Dental - Your Washington DC Dentist

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Root Canal

Learn When a Root Canal Becomes Necessary

Practicing good oral hygiene is essential to keeping teeth and gums healthy, but sometimes even someone who takes very good care of their teeth can suffer serious cavities that need more treatment than a simple filling. To protect the health of the tooth and prevent further decay, the dentist may recommend a root canal as treatment for a cavity too large for a traditional filling.

Hearing the words “root canal” can make many patients feel anxious and worried, but the procedure is a common and important dental procedure that can help maintain a healthy mouth for a lifetime. Understanding what’s involved with a root canal may help ease the concerns of some patients as they realize that it’s a step toward avoiding dental issues that are more serious.

Symptoms that may require root canal treatment

Dentists perform root canals on teeth with serious decay and teeth that have become infected. The decay or infection requires that the dentist remove the tooth pulp to prevent the spread of bacteria that can damage other teeth and gums. Symptoms that may indicate the need for a root canal include:

  • Extended pain and sensitivity of tooth when in contact with cold or hot
  • Toothaches made worse with chewing or pressure
  • Tenderness and swelling in gums near tooth
  • Tooth discoloration

Even if a patient isn’t suffering the above symptoms, they may still have a decayed tooth because there aren’t always noticeable signs. Properly diagnosing a tooth in need of a root canal is a job for a skilled dental professional.

Catching the decay in time

For a root canal to be a viable treatment option, there must be enough healthy tooth left for the procedure. Root canals involve removing and replacing the pulp inside the tooth while preserving as much of the tooth as possible. When a tooth has suffered too much decay or infection, extraction may be the only option, so it’s vital to catch the problem early.

Benefits of root canal therapy

A root canal procedure cleans out the infected pulp inside the tooth and the nerves so patients won’t experience discomfort and sensitivity. When the dentist places the filling in the tooth and applies the dental crown, this protects and reinforces the previously decayed tooth.

If you’re dealing with any tooth pain or discomfort, it’s time to call and make an appointment with Dupont Dental. Addressing any decay early is essential for finding the best treatment and protecting your healthy smile.