Root canals are among the most feared and loathed procedures in all of dentistry. Even if you’ve never had one, you’ve probably heard countless jokes about how any form of pain or torture is better than getting a root canal. The good news is that a root canal is a standard dental procedure that not only relieves the pain caused by an infection or inflammation, it can also prevent the need for more invasive and expensive dental work in the future.
At Madison Family Dental Group, Shiva Salehi, DDS, and her team offer a range of general and cosmetic dentistry services at our office in Fair Oaks, California.
Indications I might need a root canal
Root canal treatment is necessary when the soft tissue inside a tooth (known as the pulp) becomes inflamed or infected. Advanced tooth decay is one of the most common causes of infection and inflammation, but bacteria can also burrow into the pulp tissue through a crack or fracture in the tooth from trauma (like a sports injury, an accident or fall, or repeated dental treatments on the same tooth).
The most common signs and symptoms that indicate you might need a root canal include:
- Toothache or persistent dental pain
- Tooth sensitivity
- Gray or black discoloration of the tooth
- Gum inflammation
- Pain or tenderness when you chew or brush your teeth
Keep in mind that the above symptoms can all be signs of other oral health problems like gum disease, so it’s important to see a dentist for an exam as soon as you start experiencing symptoms that persist for more than a few days, or that continue to get worse.
What to expect during a root canal
Despite the horror stories, the fact is that a root canal procedure is fairly similar to getting a filling for a cavity, so if you need one don’t worry! You’ll receive a topical anesthetic to keep you comfortable and minimize any pressure or discomfort during your root canal.
Once the tooth has been cleaned from the inside out, filled, and sealed, Dr. Salehi completes the root canal with a dental crown or veneer, making the tooth as good as new!
How to lower the risk of tooth decay and gum disease
Prevention is always the best medicine. The best way to protect your oral health and lower your risk of needing a root canal is to practice good oral hygiene, eat a healthy diet, protect your teeth with a mouthguard when playing contact sports, and schedule a dental exam and cleaning every six months.
For more information about root canal treatment and other general and cosmetic dentistry services available at Madison Family Dental Group, call our office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Salehi, text us, or request an appointment online.