Do I Need a Root Canal?

November 2, 2020 Grandville Dental Health Center

root canal therapy Grandville MI

Root canal therapy can save your tooth from infection. It is often one of the best available treatments to avoid tooth loss or extraction.

Root canals are common dental procedures, with more than 15 million performed each year. If you’re unsure if you need a root canal, our Grandville dentists are here to help. Let’s take a look at what makes someone a good candidate for root canal therapy.

What Is Root Canal Therapy?

Did you know a root canal is something you have, not something you get? When people talk about getting a “root canal,” they’re leaving off a key word at the end of that phrase: “therapy.” Root canal therapy is a dental procedure involving your root canal, which is the central cavity of your tooth that holds your tooth’s nerve (the root) and your dental pulp.

Your dental pulp is the soft part inside of your tooth that contains blood vessels and connective tissue. While your teeth are growing and developing, your dental pulp provides nourishment. However, once your teeth are mature, your dental pulp is no longer technically necessary. Adult teeth get their nourishment from surrounding tissues, not the dental pulp within.

During root canal therapy, our dentists clean out your root canal, removing your infected dental pulp. Then, they use temporary filling to seal your tooth until they can replace that filling with a dental crown.

Do I Need Root Canal Therapy?

Root canal therapy may be your best option if you’re suffering from a severe tooth infection. However, you should schedule an appointment with our dentists so they can give you their expert opinion on your situation.

Signs you may need root canal treatment include:

  • Swollen gums
  • Tooth darkening
  • Oral pain, especially when chewing or biting
  • Prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Dental abscess on your gums

What Is a Dental Abscess?

Dental abscesses are pockets of pus caused by bacterial infection. They look sort of like a pimple on your gums, and they are one of the clearest signs that you likely need root canal treatment to save your tooth.

To get rid of a dental abscess, our dentists will need to drain it. Usually, this process is accompanied by a root canal, although our dentists may need to extract the tooth completely if the infection has progressed too far.

An untreated dental abscess isn’t just a threat to your tooth—it may even be a threat to your life. Tooth infections can result in serious, life-threatening complications. That’s because, if left untreated, they can spread to your jaw, your surrounding tissue, or even other areas of your body. Fever and swelling can result in difficulty breathing or swallowing.

See our emergency dentists right away if you think you may have a dental abscess. If you’re experiencing a fever, extreme facial swelling, and difficulty breathing, go straight to your nearest emergency room.

Is Root Canal Treatment Painful?

Root canal therapy has a bad reputation for being a painful procedure. However, you’ll be happy to know that painful root canal treatments are ancient history. With today’s technology, most patients experience root canal therapy the same way they experience other common dental procedures, like cavity fillings. 

Remember, root canal treatments are meant to relieve your tooth pain, not cause more of it. The pain of your infection is likely worse than the pain of any modern dental treatment. If you’re afraid to get a root canal or worried about potential pain, speak with our dentists. We want to make sure you get the treatment you need.

Schedule a Root Canal Appointment

Our Grandville, MI, restorative dentists use root canal therapy to rid your tooth of infection and avoid unnecessary tooth extraction. If you think you have a tooth infection, it’s important to seek care immediately to give our dentists the best chance of saving your tooth. Call Grandville Dental Health Center today at (616) 531-0360, or contact us online to request an appointment.

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