Endodontics is dental care that treats the inside of your teeth. The most common endodontic treatment is root canals. In Latin, endo means “inside” and dontics means “of the tooth.” Therefore, endodontic treatment describes when a dentist treats the inside of teeth including cleaning, shaping, and sealing the canals inside the roots of teeth. Endodontic treatments also cover treating cracked, injured or diseased teeth.
Signs and Symptoms a Root Canal is Needed
While a toothache may be a sign you need a root canal, a painful tooth will not automatically require a root canal. There are several signs and symptoms that might indicate if someone needs this treatment.
- Severe pain upon pressure
- Prolonged sensitivity to extreme temperatures
- Darkening of the tooth
- Swelling of the nearby gums
Unfortunately, there are also times that no symptoms will be present to indicate you have damage to the inside of your tooth. This is why George Dental takes digital x-rays of your teeth once per year and uses a series of tests as needed to determine the health of your tooth.
Root Canal Treatment
First, the dentist prepares the tooth to remove infected nerves, or the damaged pulp of the tooth causing you discomfort. The dentist will then seal off your tooth so it is free from the infection or damage growing back. There may be fear or anxiety relating to the preparation for a root canal. However there is no need for the treatment to be painful.
How Endodontic Treatment Helps
When you have an endodontic treatment performed, you are freeing your body of damaged tissue that can quickly become infected. The treatment, which is usually performed by an endodontist or a family dentist, will help by removing any infected tissue. The dentist has a few methods that she can use to get the infected or damaged portion of the tooth out. If these methods do not work, then in rare cases it may be necessary to have the tooth completely removed.
With dentists experienced in performing root canals, pain during the procedure is non-existent. There may be some discomfort following the procedure caused from the nerve being removed which results in some sensitivity. The dentist may recommend eating foods that require minimal chewing. That allows the tooth to heal without being extremely sensitive. It is possible for one to deal with the pain by taking over-the-counter pain medications such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen.
Root Canal Alternatives
The only real alternative available to root canals is removing the tooth permanently. If that is the route chosen, you will have to pay for the extraction as well as the fake tooth installation. This can be done with a partial denture or an implant. If something is not put in its place, the rest of the teeth could shift causing more problems.
While root canals and endodontic procedures can be a scary thought, they are rarely as bad as they are made out to be. It’s important to have a dentist who specializes in the procedure and works gently. Make sure you are completely comfortable with the dentist and confident the procedure will be done well.
Contact our Eagan or Apple Valley, MN Dentist Office for Root Canals and Endodontic Treatments
The George Dental team is experienced in the diagnosis of diseases inside your tooth. From our dental offices conveniently located in Eagan and Apple Valley, MN, only minutes from St. Paul and Minneapolis, root canals and endodontic treatments are available to the entire Twin Cities metro area.