How do you know if you need a root canal?

Knowing if you need a root canal is like trying to self-diagnose using Google. When you don’t know what you’re looking for, you don’t know if what you’re experiencing is cause for concern. If you suspect that you need a root canal, Anderson family dentists Dr. Elbrecht and Dr. Summerlin will help layout a few possible symptoms and answer some of your common questions!

What causes you to need a root canal?

Deep within your tooth is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp is the area of the tooth that holds all of your nerves, connective tissues, and blood vessels. When this area gets infected, it can cause decay deep within your tooth’s roots. Once this occurs, you’ll need to receive endodontic treatment. If not, the infection can spread into other areas of your mouth or jaw and may lead to an abscess.

What are the signs you need a root canal?

You should see your dentist as soon as possible if you notice any of the following signs:

  • Severe pain
  • Abnormal sensitivity to heat or cold
  • Discoloration of tooth
  • Drainage
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Tenderness in the area surrounding the tooth
  • In rare cases, there may be no symptoms at all. This is why regular examinations and cleanings are so important.

Please note, the only way to tell if you need endodontic therapy is to see a dentist. If you are exhibiting any of the above symptoms, do not wait to call your local dentist.

How long does a root canal last?

After all is said and done, it generally takes a few weeks to fully heal after a root canal. After getting a root canal, you’ll need to go back to your dentist for a filling or a crown. Each appointment, including the root canal and the application of the filling or crown, will take around 90 minutes.

How much does it cost?

It’s hard to give a single answer to the cost of a root canal.  It will vary depending on the severity of the case, which tooth is infected, and whether you’ll need a crown, bridge, or filling put in after. If the infected tooth is a molar, the cost is generally more.

Do you need a root canal?

If you are noticing abnormal pain, sensitivity, or tenderness in your tooth, swollen lymph nodes, or discoloration, it may be time to ask your dentist about a root canal. If caught early, root canal therapy is highly successful and can last a lifetime.

Think you may be in need of root canal therapy? Don’t wait to head into our Anderson Office or Fortville Office.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels