Root Canal Therapy: Do You Need It?

Have you recently experienced chronic dental pain that cannot be numbed without the use of pain relievers? If you nodded your head, it may be time to schedule a visit with your general dentist to determine what is going on below the surface – especially if it’s been awhile since your last visit. Because tooth decay is often undetectable to the untrained eye, x-rays and the expertise of a skilled dentist are helpful in preserving your oral health. While tooth decay may certainly be the culprit of your pain, x-rays can determine if the inner structure of the tooth has been infected and harmed. In such cases, root canal therapy will be recommended. Though hearing the term “root canal” may cause your heart rate to increase and your stomach to churn, this procedure is almost just as common as dental fillings and can help you avoid a tooth extraction and costly restorative procedures. If you are concerned you may need root canal therapy but are unsure, below are some tips to help you identify when to see a dentist and what questions to ask during your appointment. Dr. Jack Haney provides an extensive list of family dentistry procedures, including root canal therapy at our Knoxville, TN practice. He will help guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have. To schedule your consultation, please contact us online or give us a call at 865-693-6886.

Signs You May Need Root Canal Therapy

Think you may need root canal therapy? Below are the top five signs to be aware of:

  • Tooth Sensitivity: This typically occurs when consuming hot, cold, or sugary foods and beverages and may result in sharp, dull, or chronic pain. Because tooth and gum sensitivity may also signal the presence of tooth decay or gum disease, only a visit with a dentist will be able to identify the root of the issue.
  • Difficulty Chewing: When pain is persistent, it can keep you from biting down or chewing effectively. If you are having difficulty eating without experiencing pain, and symptoms have lasted longer than just a few days – you should make an appointment with your dentist immediately.
  • Swelling and Inflammation: When tooth decay only affects the enamel or dentin layer, pain is typically isolated to one area. However, if the inner structure of the tooth is infected, side effects can include gum inflammation and swelling of the cheek and jawline.
  • Discolored Tooth: Though some dental staining and discoloration are normal, if your tooth takes on a gray hue and is followed by pain – this cannot be addressed with whitening and should not be ignored.
  • Abscessed Tooth: This includes a visible pimple along the gum line near the base of the tooth that is sore to the touch and filled with infectious fluid. The pustule may drain and refill over the course of a few weeks. If the fluid continues to leak, it could cause damage to nearby teeth and even result in serious systemic conditions.

Questions to Ask

At your root canal therapy consultation, there are a few questions you can ask your dental professional to get a better idea of how experienced they are. Your smile is one of your more important assets and should be carefully handled by someone who is knowledgeable and experienced.

  • Are you familiar with root canal therapy?
  • What is your educational background and expertise?
  • How many root canal therapy procedures do you perform in a year?
  • What is your success rate?

When the consultation is completed, ask yourself the following questions to ensure you are comfortable with the dentist before proceeding with the procedure:

  • Do you like the dentist?
  • Do you feel comfortable with him or her?
  • Have you asked friends, co-workers, or neighbors about their experience with this particular dentist?
  • Did the dentist recommend conservative treatment first?

Contact Our Office Today

If you live in the area and are looking for an experienced Knoxville root canal therapy dentist, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Haney by contacting us online or calling 865-693-6886.

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