When a tooth has cracked or sustained a deep cavity, it allows bacteria to enter and cause an infection in the pulp and roots. If you don’t treat the infection by getting a root canal, it can cause a painful condition known as a tooth abscess. It can also spread to other parts of your body and endanger your health. The pain and swelling may cause permanent damage to your jaw bone as well.
Although most patients exhibit several symptoms indicating the need for a root canal, some don’t have any problems at all despite the infection. That is why coming in for your bi-annual preventive exams with Dr. Tuan Chau is so important. He can spot an infection and create a treatment plan, whether you are experiencing symptoms or not. The following are the most common indications that you may need a root canal in the near future:
- Throbbing tooth pain
- Change in the intensity of pain when you stand up or lie down
- Increased pain when drinking or eating something that is unusually hot or cold
- Bad breath
- Pain radiating to the jaw
- Gum tenderness
- Pus or sac formation on your gum line
The Root Canal Procedure
Dr. Chau of Joshua Family Dentistry numbs the tooth receiving the root canal and the tissue surrounding it with anesthesia. It will take longer for the numbing effect to kick in if your tissues are acutely inflamed. However, Dr. Chau will ensure that the area is numb before continuing with the root canal. The next step is to place a thin sheet of vinyl or rubber called a dental dam over the affected tooth and those surrounding it. Dr. Chau completes the procedure through a small hole in the dental dam. This protects your newly treated tooth from contamination due to the bacteria present in your saliva.
At this point, Dr. Chau drills a small hole through the biting surface of the treated tooth. He removes the diseased tissue with an instrument designed specifically for this purpose. Next, he cleans and disinfects the tooth and covers it with a crown. This prevents further infection and gives you the full strength of your normal bite. Our staff will provide you with detailed information on pain relief and any restrictions you should follow after your root canal. While some people think that root canals cause pain, the reality is that they prevent worse pain and possible extraction of the tooth in the future.