Posts for: January, 2018
Getting a root canal is never fun, but understanding the procedure and its benefits can make the process more comfortable. Dr. Mary Gregory, your dentist in Arlington, VA, wants her patients to be aware of the signs that they might need a root canal so they can quickly contact her and have the problem fixed promptly.
What is the purpose of a root canal?
To understand why your Arlington dentist performs root canals, it helps to think of them as an in-depth cavity filling. That's because the decay that started on the surface of the tooth - which would typically be treated with a filling - has infiltrated the inner portions of the tooth, which contain living tissue, blood vessels, and nerves. Decay that attacks these structures turns into a painful infection, and they will need to be removed in order to preserve the tooth's outer structure. The tooth is hollowed out and then filled with a rubber material, and topped off with a crown to protect it. With this tooth in its proper place, your other teeth will remain stable and healthy. Root canals, therefore, are designed to relieve pain, keep your tooth functional, and ensure the health of the rest of your teeth.
How do I know if I need a root canal?
A thorough discussion, examination, and X-rays from your Arlington, VA, dentist are the only real way to detect the presence of infected tissue inside of a tooth, but there are a few signs that could indicate that you need to make an appointment with Dr. Mary Gregory right away. They include:
- Lingering sensitivity after the tooth is exposed to hot or cold stimuli (soup or ice water, for example). This usually produces a painful, tingling sensation that lasts long after the stimulus has been removed.
- A deep ache inside the tooth, especially while biting down or chewing. This pain can also happen for no reason.
- The presence of a pimple-like lesion on the gum tissue near the tooth. This could mean your body is attempting to rid itself of the infection inside the tooth by creating an "escape."
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Mary Gregory, give our office in Arlington, VA, a call today!