If you have a considerable infection, one of the only ways to treat it and prevent an extraction is through a root canal.
It’s actually one of the most common procedures used during dental emergencies. Infections can present with significant pain, swelling, and increase your risk of many other complications.
Keep on reading to find out why a root canal is a dental emergency and how to know if you may need one.
Why Root Canals Are Emergency Dental Procedures
If one of your permanent teeth becomes infected, it usually means an untreated cavity has allowed bacteria to enter the tooth and start eating away at its pulp, where the essential nerves and blood vessels are found.
Untreated teeth infections gradually worsen as the body cannot fight them on its own. The bacteria can spread all the way down to the tooth’s root and even start to affect other tissues, such as the gums and jaw bone.
Infections can weaken the tooth so much that it leads to permanent damage. Your tooth can crack and chip, or it might even need to be permanently extracted.
Additionally, an untreated infection, in rare cases, can lead to sepsis, a life-threatening complication that requires immediate medical attention.
And the only way to treat an infection without extracting the tooth is through a root canal.
How to Know If You Might Need a Root Canal
You may need an emergency root canal if you’re dealing with any of the following symptoms:
- High levels of pain that doesn’t go away even with OTC pain medication
- Very high sensitivity to heat or cold
- Minor bleeding around the tooth
- Visible cracks
- Tooth discoloration
In severe cases, a tooth infection can also cause fevers, a sign you may be dealing with sepsis. If that’s the case, call 911 right away.
How Does a Root Canal Work?
During a root canal, the dentist will clean the inside of the tooth and remove all the bacteria and infected tissue, including down the small chambers of the root, known as the canals.
Once it’s clean, the area is sanitized, and the tooth needs to be reconstructed. For minor infections, you may be able to get a dental filling, just like you would for a cavity.
Bigger infections will require removing too much tissue, so you may need a dental crown.
Moreover, in some cases, you may need to take antibiotics to fight the infection, especially if the bacteria has spread to other places.
Dealing with a Dental Emergency? Don’t Wait
If you think you may need a root canal or are dealing with any other dental emergency, Charlotte dentist Dr. Picot is here to help you access swift care.
Call us at (704) 335-8266 right away for emergency dental care.
For a regular appointment, schedule a visit to SouthEnd Dentistry online.
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