What are Root Canal Symptoms?

root-canal-symptoms-2.jpgRoot Canal treatment on your teeth has a very bad reputation.  You may have heard people say, “I’d rather have a root canal” in response to a terrible task they do not want to be doing.  However, having the procedure done is usually quite painless, and you often times leave your dentist’s office feeling much better than when you arrived with the toothache. 

A root canal is needed when either tooth decay or severe trauma causes irreversible damage to the nerve of the tooth.  The root canal symptoms can vary, but the severe tooth pain that comes with them will leave you desperate for relief.  You may experience throbbing pain that radiates to your ears and jaws that can wake you up right out of your sleep.  It is normal for a tooth to be sensitive to cold, but that sensation should go away very quickly once activated.  If the tooth is showing root canal symptoms the pain will linger after being activated with cold for a long, uncomfortable time.  Other symptoms include sensitivity to hot, pain when biting down or touching the tooth, discoloration, swelling, or an abscess forming on your gum tissue.  These symptoms are the real villains, root canal treatment is the cure, and the gentle dentists at Thomas L. Anderson and Associates are the heroes!  When you are having tooth pain, you need relief quickly. That is why our dentists take same day emergency appointments for patients, lunch hour appointments, and even selective Saturday appointments.   We always want to ensure we are there when you need us … just give us a call to schedule an appointment.

Once the tooth has been diagnosed for a root canal, our most frequently asked question is, “Why can’t we just remove the tooth?”  While having the tooth removed will help clear up infection and pain, it will start to cause more problems down the road.  When a tooth is removed, we lose bone supporting the adjacent teeth, the teeth start drifting in to fill spaces leading to malocclusion problems, and super eruption of opposing teeth. 

If a tooth must be removed, it is always advised to replace the missing tooth in one of the following ways: 

  • Dental implants are the best treatment to fill a gap caused by a missing tooth because they look, function, and feel the most like a natural tooth. The downside to having an implant placed is the time it takes for healing.  It can take over a year and many trips to the dentist to have an implant placed.
  • Another option is to place a non-removable bridge.  A bridge is made up of two or more crowns “bridging” the gap with a false tooth.  These are often great for filling in the space, but they have some downsides too.  Bridges need crowns to support them, so often times the teeth supporting the bridge did not need to be reduced.  By choosing an implant, surrounding healthy teeth do not need to be damaged. 
  • Lastly, spaces can be filled with a removable partial denture.  A removable partial denture is an appliance that consists of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored plastic base.  There are also downsides to choosing this alternative.  Partial dentures clasp on to the other teeth and cause strain on them.  This strain over time starts causing more troubles for the teeth supporting the partial denture.  Not to mention how much patients dislike having a foreign appliance in their mouth that they have to take in and out. 

The main point I want readers suffering with root canal symptoms to realize is that there is no adequate replacement for a natural tooth.  Saving the tooth with a root canal and crown is the best treatment whenever possible. 

Going to the dentist can be a little scary, especially if you are a patient suffering with root canal symptoms.  We spend a lot of time with our patients before a root canal procedure explaining that the procedure is not at all as bad as it’s cracked up to be, and that current dental anesthetics make the procedure much more comfortable than in the past.  In the end, they never believe us until it is over; then we get responses like, “You’re done?! I didn’t feel a thing!” and “you were right, that was much easier than I thought!”  We get these responses because root canal treatment does not cause pain, it relieves it. 

When a patient makes the choice to save their tooth with a root cancel rather than removing it, they have added years to a healthy chewing and functional mouth!  If you feel you may be experiencing root canal symptoms call one of our offices and we will get you in and feeling better today!  We are located on the Country Club Plaza, Downtown Kansas City, and Independence Mo.  We have four dentists, and a fleet of exceptional staff that want to get you feeling better fast!