For most people, the phrase “root canal” is one they hope they’ll never hear at the dentist’s office. This common procedure has garnered quite the reputation, though the dreadful descriptions used in conjunction with root canal treatment are largely unfounded. At William L. Eick, DDS in Rocky River, OH, Dr. Eick and his team provide patients with a comprehensive selection of general dentistry solutions, including root canal therapy. Today, we’d like to delve a bit further into the nature of a root canal infection so as to better understand its treatment.
Common Signs of Root Canal Infections
What most patients term a “root canal” is actually a procedure known as endodontic therapy, or the treatment of an infection deep within the roots of a tooth. When the nerve-filled pulp inside a tooth becomes infected, it must be treated before the tooth itself begins to die. Contrary to popular belief, root canal therapy is not painful; it is the infection of the pulp and the associated inflammation that causes discomfort. When a root canal infection is treated in a timely manner, the tooth may be saved and fortified against future damage with the help of a custom crown.
In many cases, a patient may not actually experience any noticeable symptoms in the earliest stages of a root canal infection. As the infection is allowed to spread, however, the patient may experience tenderness when chewing and sensitivity to heat and/or cold. The tooth may even begin to darken from the inside, gradually turning dull gray in color. In some cases, an abscess may form, leading to potentially severe pain. Fortunately, removing the infected tissue and treating the resultant cavity can eliminate this persistent discomfort.
Preserve the Health of Your Smile
Ultimately, the only way to definitively diagnose a root canal infection is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Eick and his experienced team in Rocky River, OH. If it has been more than six months since your last dental checkup, or if you are experiencing any kind of oral discomfort, please do not hesitate to contact us today to schedule your appointment. We look forward to helping you find lasting relief from the discomfort associated with a root canal infection. Our warm, welcoming dental practice is privileged to serve communities in Westlake, Fairview Park, Lakewood, Cleveland, and beyond.