Misconceptions About Root Canals - Do I Need a Root Canal?
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Misconceptions About Root Canals

Posted on June 28th, 2017 by Dr. Nikoo Daftary

Root canals, unfortunately, have a very negative connotation, but that might be because few people fully understand what they are or when they are needed. A root canal, typically, does not cause pain because a root canal is actually a process that is intended to relieve the pain caused by an infection. The infection, which can be caused by various factors, is the real source of the pain and affects the inner portion of the tooth, called the pulp. The infected pulp must then be removed to ensure that the infection does not spread and to relieve the pain caused by the infection.

Do I Need a Root Canal?

Not all tooth pain indicates the need for a root canal, and sometimes, teeth that do require root canals will not cause you pain at all. However, it is important that you consult your dentist because only he/she is qualified enough to make the final decision.
On average, patients usually visit the dentist twice a year, but if you believe that you might need a root canal, do not wait to until your next checkup. Schedule a time to meet with us, if any of these usual indicators that you need a root canal apply to you and are particularly worrisome:

  • Pain: Pain can indicate other dental problems, and pain is not always associate with the need for root canals, but pain should result in scheduling a dentist appointment nonetheless.
  • Discoloration: Teeth may lose their whiteness over time, but normal discoloration will not be isolated to individual teeth. If you notice that your tooth changes color, whether it be black, gray, or yellow, schedule an appointment immediately and let us assess the situation.
  • Pimples or Boils: Pimples and boils on the gums, near teeth, are not normal and could indicate that pressure is being relieved from an infection in your tooth. Teeth that do not cause pain but need root canals often exhibit pimples or boils near them.
  • Swelling: Swelling often indicates that pressure is building up from an infection within the tooth.

What Next?

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms, it is important to act quickly because the goal of a root canal is to save the tooth. Infections can damage the tooth beyond repair and even spread to your jaw. Luckily, though, despite their relative seriousness, root canals are painless procedures that usually take no more than 2 visits to complete.

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