If your dentist tells you that you need root canal therapy even though your tooth doesn’t hurt, you might be confused at first. Isn’t the whole point of a root canal to put a stop to an infection that’s causing you pain? In many cases, the answer is yes – but pain is just one possible sign that root canal therapy might be necessary. The following post goes into more details about why root canal therapy is performed and what symptoms can tell a dentist that the treatment is necessary.
Why is Root Canal Therapy Needed?
Root canal therapy is a treatment where the pulp of the tooth – a collection of tissue, blood vessels, and nerves – is removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. This is done whenever the pulp has become infected. When left alone, the infection in the pulp can grow worse, eventually compromising the tooth altogether and spreading beyond the roots. The point of root canal therapy is to remove the infection before any permanent harm is done.
How Do You Know Root Canal Therapy is Needed?
Pain is the most common sign of infected dental pulp, but it’s far from the only symptom. Even if you don’t have a toothache, you might need a root canal if you notice any of the following:
- Chipped or Cracked Teeth: Even seemingly minor damage can allow bacteria to slip past the protective enamel layer and attack the pulp within the tooth.
- Swollen Gums: Inflammation is a key sign of infection. If the gums around a certain tooth are redder or more swollen than usual, there might be something wrong with the pulp.
- Darkened Teeth: A darker tooth might be the result of damage or infection of the dental pulp.
- Deep Decay: Untreated cavities can very easily lead to problems with your dental pulp. Some cavities hurt very little or not at all, but your dentist can still catch them at a routine checkup and cleaning.
Only your dentist can decide whether or not root canal therapy is truly necessary for you, so if you notice any of the symptoms above, your first step should always be to schedule a consultation.
Do You Need Root Canal Therapy Performed Right Away?
If you’re not experiencing any dental pain, you might think a root canal isn’t urgently needed. However, waiting too long could easily result in severe discomfort, and if the damage becomes too great, your tooth might have to be extracted altogether. As such, you should have a root canal procedure completed as soon as you can.
Are you seeing any signs that your tooth might be in trouble? Call your emergency dentist today to schedule an appointment to see if you might need a root canal. Being proactive about your care could be the key to saving your smile and avoiding dental pain in the future.
About the Practice
At Kraft & Schrott Dental Associates, our multiple in-house specialists can provide high-level comprehensive care for patients of all ages in the Boston area. We’re able to perform root canal therapy in-house so that you can avoid having a tooth removed due to infected dental pulp. To schedule an appointment with us, visit our website or call (617) 227-4924.