Tooth infections symptoms can look and feel scary, especially if you don’t have a consistent dentist to visit, or you haven’t been to an appointment in a while. However, when a tooth becomes infected it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible before it begins to decay. Root canals are the number one procedure for saving an infected tooth before it begins to decay and eventually falls out. When adult teeth rot and fall out, there’s no “back up tooth” to grow in its place – this is why it’s so important to save teeth at all costs with a root canal. But did you ever wonder, “how can a root canal save a tooth?”
Keep reading to learn when you might need a root canal, what a root canal is, and how it can save your tooth.
When Do I Need a Root Canal?
Signs of a tooth infection are the same signs that show you need a root canal. These hard-to-miss symptoms of a tooth infection are:
- Cracked tooth/teeth
- Tooth & gum pain
- Swollen, miscolored gums
- Darkened tooth/teeth
- Gum sores
- Sensitivity to hot & cold
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a procedure designed specifically to save a tooth experiencing infection and decay. When a tooth is infected, the nerves and pulp inside the tooth begin to decay. Root canals remove this infected interior by disinfecting and scraping all decay and infection from the root of the tooth and inside the tooth canal (hence the name root canal.)
Afterwards, the now-empty tooth is filled and sealed to keep its integrity and prevent another infection. Root canals are performed while the patient is under anesthesia, which eliminates any pain. During the healing process, it’s common to experience slight discomfort and sensitivity. However, post-surgery soreness is nothing compared to the pain of an infected tooth that is left untreated.
How Can a Root Canal Save a Tooth?
When left to its own devices without proper treatment, a tooth infection turns into severe decay and tooth loss. This infection can also spread into other teeth and even the gums. This could also lead to an infection of the jaw. Root canals are extremely important for saving the tooth and preventing further disaster – it’s the only dental procedure that primarily saves a tooth rather than extracting it. Root canals do this by removing the infection from inside the tooth, keeping the exterior intact before filling and sealing.
The only other alternative to a root canal is having the entire tooth removed, which requires tooth replacement in order to keep the integrity of the jawbone. Removal and replacement procedures are costly and time consuming, while root canals are simple, quick, and typically cost efficient.
Call Winn Smiles today, or visit any of our locations around the Chattanooga area for an appointment.