Signs You May Need a Root Canal
By H.F. Wehbe, D.D.S, D.M.D. - Family Dental Care
July 17, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

It's abnormal for a tooth to hurt or to be super-sensitive to heat or cold. You have a molar that behaves that way. Should you do root canalsomething? At H.F. Wehbe, DDS, DMD, Family Dental Care in West Roxbury, MA, your dentist will evaluate that problematic tooth to see what's wrong and how to treat it--perhaps with root canal therapy. Learn here what shows the doctor you need a root canal.

What is root canal therapy?

Also called endodontics, a root canal removes inflamed, damaged pulp from a tooth's interior chamber and up to four narrow root canals. This inner structure contains blood vessels, supportive tissue and other elements essential to the tooth's development. As the tooth ages into adulthood, it can function without these soft elements which are prone to infection and inflammation from oral injury and decay.

That's where root canal therapy is so beneficial. Accomplished in just two visits to H.F. Wehbe, DDS, DMD, Family Dental Care, a root canal treatment removes diseased pulp, disinfects and seals the tooth and crowns it to strengthen and beautify the area above the gums.

To determine if a root canal would help, your dentist in West Roxbury, MA, inspects the tooth and its surrounding tissues. Also, the doctor asks about symptoms and takes digital X-rays to evaluate the jaw bone and roots. With a diagnosis of abscess, extensive decay or other problem confirmed, your dentist numbs the tooth and accesses the interior chamber through small holes created with a handheld drill.

Through these holes, he or she inserts tiny metal files of increasing size. The files remove the pulp and smooth the canal walls. Each canal receives antibiotic medication and a natural elastic substance called gutta-percha. Gutta-percha strengthens and seals the tooth, allowing the dentist to place a temporary filling or cap.

After the tooth heals, you'll return to the office for placement of a customized porcelain crown. This crown is realistic in form and function and will allow your tooth to bite and chew and to blend in with your smile.

The American Association of Endodontists, experts in root canal therapy, states that these procedures are up to 97 percent successful, preserving injured teeth indefinitely. At H.F. Wehbe, DDS, DMD, Family Dental Care, Dr. Scott Young is our staff endodontist.

When a tooth is in danger

Mostly, you'll know when a tooth has a problem, but sometimes, worrisome symptoms are not obvious. That's why preventive care--exams, X-rays and hygienic cleanings--are critical to oral health. The dentist's professional eyes spot signs of danger you may not notice.

However, typical signs you need root canal therapy usually show as:

  • Throbbing pain
  • Swelling and redness of the gums
  • A pimple on the gums
  • Dental sensitivity to heat, cold and sugar
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Bad-tasting drainage
  • A crack or large chip

Learn more

If you're in between check-ups and notice unusual dental symptoms, don't wait. Please contact H.F. Wehbe, DDS, DMD, Family Dental Care for a consultation. You may need root canal therapy. Call (617) 323-5000.


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