Oftentimes, patients wonder what causes the need for endodontic or root canal treatment. Let’s begin by explaining what exactly root canal treatment is. Root canal treatment or endodontics is a specialty in dentistry that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases or injuries to the nerve of a tooth. Root canal treatment is a safe and effective means of saving teeth that would otherwise be lost.
Common causes for endodontic or root canal treatment are extensive cavities that communicate with the nerve, deep and large existing fillings, trauma such as a severe blow to a tooth, cracks in teeth, and sometimes even gum disease can cause the nerve to become damaged. When cavities extend to the nerve, they expose the nerve to bacteria leading to infection and ultimately pain if left untreated. Most cases that are left untreated lead to abscesses which lead to pain and swelling. Ultimately, such teeth could require extraction when root canal treatment is avoided.
Common symptoms may range from momentary to lingering, prolonged pain. Temperature sensitivity to cold or hot are also oftentimes indicators of an infected nerve. Pain on biting or release may also be used as a signal to seek a consultation with your dentist.
During this consultation, a radiographic or x-ray examination is paramount. Supplemental diagnostic tools include percussing the tooth, palpating the surrounding tissue, cold tests, electrical pulp tests, periodontal measurements, and bite tests. These are all clinical procedures to help diagnose the cause for the discomfort.
If you are in need of a root canal, consider seeing our in-house, board certified endodontist. An endodontist specializes in performing root canal treatment. An ideal setting for your root canal is in the same office as your general dentist. That way your family dentist can work hand in hand with your root canal specialist and you can be assured that the best possible result will be achieved. In my opinion, you should always seek a specialist to complete your root canal. The specialist’s work will be far superior to that of any general dentist. We exclusively use our endodontist for all our patients in need of root canals.
Finally, we always encourage regular check-ups with proper x-rays so you can prevent the need for a root canal.