Root canals may have a scary reputation, but they’re a routine dental procedure that can help you avoid a costly tooth extraction down the line. Thanks to modern technology, root canals are no longer the painful production of decades past. Still, there are too many people who are so afraid of the dentist that they’ll ignore potentially serious symptoms until it’s too late.
Our Grand Rapids, MI root canal dentist wants you to know what symptoms to look out for so you’ll know when it’s time to come in for a visit.
Signs You Need a Root Canal
5 Symptoms of an Infected Tooth
It’s important to understand you may not see any signs that you need an emergency root canal until it’s too late to save the tooth. For this reason, it’s important to see Dr. Ritzema every 6 months for routine dental checkups. During your preventative dental appointment, we’ll be able to examine your mouth and take dental x-rays to make sure there are no cavities.
There are a few main symptoms of tooth infections that could require a root canal procedure.
Call Dr. Ritzema if you notice:
- Severe toothache
- Prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold
- Tooth darkening in color
- Abscess (or pimple) on the gums
- Swollen gums
The Root Canal Procedure
The goal of the root canal procedure is to save an abscessed tooth so it won’t need to be extracted. This means that Dr. Ritzema will need to remove the decaying tooth nerve, along with the infected tooth pulp. Without root canal treatment, the tooth would die and need to be extracted.
First, Dr. Ritzema will need to locally anesthetize the tooth so you won’t feel any pain during the root canal procedure. You’ll feel a slight pinch as our team injects the pain reliever. Next, he will drill a small hole near the top of the tooth.
Once a sufficient opening has been made, Dr. Ritzema will remove the infected dental pulp from the inside of your tooth. For good measure, he may flush the inside of your tooth with water and anti-microbial solution to make sure any remaining pulp and bacteria is removed.
We’ll create your root canal crown in-office using CEREC technology so you’ll leave with your smile intact.
What to Do if You Have a Toothache
If your tooth is starting to hurt, it’s important to call our root canal dentist as soon as possible. Dr. Ritzema will be able to take dental x-rays and examine your teeth so they can properly diagnose the problem. You should always schedule an appointment with Dr. Ritzema at the first sign of dental discomfort. Be sure to describe your symptoms to the person answering your call so they can determine whether emergency dental care is appropriate for your situation.
At Complete Health Dentistry, our Grand Rapids, MI root canal dentist will do everything in his power to save an abscessed tooth. If you have a severe toothache and suspect you need an emergency root canal, you can make an appointment by calling (616) 458-7267.