Root Canal Procedure

Signs You May Need an Emergency Root Canal in Houston

Root canal treatment is never something that dental patients necessarily look forward to. So obviously the same can be said for emergency root canal treatment. So many patients ask, “how do I know if I need an emergency root canal procedure?” Many patients are afraid of the procedure. They think it’s painful, bloody, and something to be avoided if possible. It get this reputation from many years ago when the anesthesia used for treatment was much less effective than it is today. In fact, this treatment pain today is a little uncomfortable, and with advances in anesthesia most patients report that it is rarely painful. Truthfully, the only real pain associated with the procedure is related to the underlying reason you might require it – a decayed, rotting, or otherwise infected tooth.

How do you know when you need an emergency root canal procedure?

Simple. It starts with pain. If you’re experiencing deep, prolonged pain that persists and doesn’t seem to ever give you any relief, there’s a good chance that there’s a problem with the underlying structure of your teeth. While many people refer to the “root canal” as the actual treatment itself, it is actually the inside of your tooth, underlying structure of your tooth – this is why pain is always the most obvious sign that your tooth needs “attention”. Other signs of the need for emergency dental help include:

  • Pain when you apply pressure to the area, or when eating
  • Pain and sensitivity to cold or that doesn’t go away or lingers
  • Your tooth is darkening
  • Your gums are tender or swollen in the same area as tooth pain
  • A small (sometimes red), bump that looks a bit like a pimple near the gums in the same areas as tooth pain

What does a root canal treatment accomplish?

During the treatment, your dentist cleans the inside of your tooth – which is known as the pulp chamber. This is done by drilling a hole into your tooth’s crown. It is then cleaned out using special files that remove the pulp and nerve. It is then cleaned out with a special rinse that kills the infection. Finally, the tooth is filled with a material that safely plugs the filling, which is topped by a permanent filling and crown.

The most common reason for getting them is in the case of infection that’s set in and undermined the tooth’s health. Other times, your tooth has actually broken, and they are needed to enable the use of a filling, prosthetic, or new crown. However, if you’ve broken your tooth, sometimes the break can be severe enough to rule out this form of treatment, making an implant a better option overall. Dr. Wang will advise as to the best course of action in your situation.