Telltale signs that you need root canal therapy

Experiencing severe pain that stems from your teeth is not a sign of a healthy mouth and could be a reaction to an infected or inflamed root canal. Not receiving medical attention for a dental issue of this kind could lead to extensive tooth loss and seriously impair your life.

root-canal-therapyOur dental practice, Crofts Dental Practice, administer endodontic treatments, such as root canals in Essex, daily. We have successfully treated all types of root canal issues, from the most straightforward to complex cases, and are ready to help you!

Is my tooth infected?

There is a notable difference between ordinary toothache and the pain that accompanies an infected root canal; this type of sensation is akin to an intense and consistent throbbing or pressure on your tooth, getting worse over time.

Are root canals in Essex necessary?

Root canals have been coined “tooth-saving surgeries”. Often, to preserve regular teeth, we must perform root canals in Essex.

By not undergoing treatment, your infected root canal can lead to an abscess and the eventual, but avoidable, loss of teeth.

Explaining the anatomy of the tooth

The Greek term “endo” means inside and “odont” means tooth. Put together, “ëndodontics” refers to the study of the inside of your tooth, namely the pulp.

The pulp is the epicentre of your tooth, where all your blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue are found. Dental problems will arise when the pulp becomes infected. The unhealthy pulp must be removed to prevent abscesses from forming and also to save the tooth.

Can a tooth survive without pulp?

The pulp is necessary for developing teeth but has less of a function when your pearly whites are fully formed. In short, yes, they can survive without, as permanent teeth do not need pulp.

What is root canal therapy?

Many regard root canal therapy as a significant procedure, which is painful and expensive, but this is not wholly accurate.

Millions of patients undergo this treatment every year, and while it does save teeth, it is not the ordeal people think it to be.

The procedure occurs in four stages:

  • X-rays are taken to validate whether you need root canal surgery. If you need the treatment, we will discuss your options with you before moving forward with the procedure.
  • On the day of the root canal, we will administer anaesthesia to numb the pain. You may feel slight discomfort during the procedure and some tenderness during recovery once the anaesthesia has worn off.
  • Using endodontic-specific tools, we make an incision on the crown of the tooth. We then remove the infected pulp and give the root canals a thorough cleaning.
  • To prevent re-infection, we fill the space with a biocompatible filler. Where there is extensive decay, we might apply a crown to the damaged part of the tooth.

Is extraction an alternative to root canals?

When faced with severe pain, some patients might turn to extraction, which is not always recommended. The procedure might be effective in eliminating your discomfort and is considered a cheaper option. However, your tooth will have to be replaced with artificial ones to prevent further dental issues down the line, which will be more expensive and time-intensive in the long run.

Entrust our tooth-saving specialist for an emergency root canal surgery.

Are root canals really all that painful?

When it comes to dental treatments, there are a few that seem to strike fear into the hearts of patients, and one with a reputation for pain is the root canal. Just the words can make grown men faint and yet there really is no need for fear, because this minor bit of dental surgery can help you hang onto your teeth for many years, instead of losing them to infection.

Root Canals in EssexPulp fact

The tooth is made up of 3 layers. On the outside is the hard, protective layer called enamel. This stops bad things getting in and also acts as a chewing or biting surface.

Inside that is a softer, more yellow layer called dentin, and inside that is the soft pulp of the tooth. It is made up of connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels. The pulp is inside the crown of the tooth and also goes down to the tip of the roots. Your front teeth have one root, but your back teeth have 3.

The pulp makes dentin, should any need to be replaced and also brings nutrients to the tooth in the blood vessels. The nerves are there to give feeling and let you know about any pain.

Infected pulp

A severe infection of the pulp is known as pulpitis, and it can happen if decay gets into the tooth, often following an injury. It hurts a lot.

If you get a tooth infection that goes into the pulp, it’s not good news. You have 2 options: you can either have the tooth extracted or you can have a root canal.

What is a root canal?

Root canals allow you to hang onto your tooth. We clean out all the pulp, including right down into the roots. Once it is all cleared out, we fill the roots and the crown, and then to make the whole tooth strong and to protect it from further infection, we put a crown made of dental porcelain over the top of it.

At Crofts Dental Practice in Essex, root canals are performed under local anaesthetic, so there is no pain during the procedure.

Do I need a root canal?

There are several reasons for the need for root canals in Essex at Crofts Dental Practice. The over-riding reason is that the nerve in the centre of the tooth is either creating dental problems, or is at risk of developing problems in the future.

Decay

Root Canals in EssexOnce tooth decay becomes extensive, the bacteria that cause the decay can infect the nerve. This causes inflammation and pressure to build up inside the tooth. This pressure cuts of the blood supply to the nerve and the nerve will die.

The throbbing sensation often felt by our patients with an infected root is the increased blood pressure from each heartbeat. That is why the pain can feel worse with any exertion. It can also get worse whilst lying down, as the blood pressure to the head is increased.

Broken teeth

If you have an accident, or break a tooth biting into something hard, you can expose the tooth to outside infection. If this is simply a tiny spot, we can try simple fillings. But, if bigger, it may be wise to have a root canal, as it is likely to cause problems.

The symptoms

The symptoms felt by our patients who may need a root canal vary considerably and if you are in doubt, you should consult your dentist at Crofts Dental Practice. The symptoms of a tooth needing a root canal can include sensitivity to hot and cold. If the sensitivity only lasts a few seconds and is a sharp pain, you will probably just need a filling, but if the pain lasts more than a couple of minutes, you may need a root canal.

Another symptom can be pain when biting. If there is an abscess under a tooth, biting on the tooth puts pressure on the abscess, causing pain.

Swelling around a tooth is also common and most frequently associated with an infection. This infection can be from a root canal related infection, although there are other types of infection which your dentist can diagnose.

Sometimes, the nerve can die and you may not suffer any pain at all. This is one of the reasons why it is important to visit your dentist regularly.