Do You Need An Emergency Root Canal?

emergency root canal
geralt / Pixabay

Do you need an emergency root canal? What is root canal anyways? If you are suffering from acute pain in your tooth, you might just need a root canal asap. How do you know, though? We'll explore these questions within this article and get you the information that you need to determine if you might indeed need a root canal immediately.

What is a root canal?

Is a root canal necessary for just a cracked tooth? Why do you need one? Well, there are a number of reasons why you might need one. A root canal is a means of removing the decayed pulp from your tooth and further cleaning it so that it may be prepared for further remediation, such as a crown. When you visit a dentist for a root canal, this is what it entails:

  • Your dentists gives you anesthesia. This is typically done with a shot in the gums. Don't worry, it's over in a pinch and sometimes you won't even notice it.
  • Next, employing the tools of the trade, your dentist will clear away the diseased pulp. This is followed by smoothing out the interior of the tooth with files. The spot will be rinsed and antibacterial solutions may be used at this point as well.
  • A temporary filling will be put into place and you are done... for now. Next time that you visit the dentist it will be time to apply a permanent crown or to begin other restorative measures, depending on what you and your dentist have decided.

When would needing a root canal constitute an emergency?

A good question. The answer is simple, however. Pain doesn't follow a 9 to 5 schedule. So, what if you need root canal surgery at night or a weekend root canal? Indeed, acute tooth pain often comes at the most inconvenient moments and when you have a diseased and decayed pulp at play... well, let's just say that we hope that never happens to you. It can make you quite miserable.

How do I know if I need a root canal? There are some symptoms that you can watch for which MAY indicate that you might need one. Watch out for these symptoms and consult your dentist or if you are experiencing acute pain and need it right away, consider an emergency visit to a dental clinic near you which can accommodate.

  • Severe sensitivity to cold and hot food and drinks - This can be a big sign that you might need a root canal. When the pulp in a tooth is damaged the A-delta and C fibers will react with much more sensitivity to heat and cold. Get to your dentist as soon as possible before the damage can get worse.
  • Swollen gums - While not a 100% guarantee that you need a root canal, a sudden swelling on a specific portion of the gums is definitely a sign that something is afoot. If the pain is minimal, schedule a visit at your soonest convenience and let the dentist take a look.
  • Noticeable discoloration - If your tooth pain is coming from a tooth that is turning dark, this could mean that the pulp has been attacked and is decaying. Get it checked out as soon as you can so that you can save as much of the tooth as possible.

How do I know if I've already had a root canal?

emergency root canal near me
NDE / Pixabay

If you have a dental crown, a root canal was part of the process. Trust us, generally you will know if you have had this procedure before. Now that you know what might indicate that you need a root canal, what are signs that you DON'T?

  • Brief sensitivity to hot and cold - Sensitivity to these(and also sweets) could just indicate general sensitivity of the teeth if you are visiting your dentist regularly. You can always ask the dentist to make sure, however, but don't worry overmuch if your oral hygiene is good and your dental visits are frequent.
  • Quick, acute pains in a tooth with a filling - This could be related to the filling itself if it is metal. Check with your dentist and they can find you a suitable replacement for the filling.
  • Sharp pains when biting - If you are feeling pains from biting in certain ways, it could just mean that you have a cracked tooth. Worth a dental visit but not an emergency one unless you really need it.

“This could be related to the filling itself if it is metal.”

  • Morning tooth pain - If your teeth only hurt in the morning then you are probably grinding them together in your sleep. Your dentist can help you to obtain a mouthpiece if this is the case(or you might be able to procure one online.

How do I find emergency root canal surgery near me?

If you are experiencing the previous symptoms that we have mentioned and feel that you need immediate care. do a google search for 'emergency dental services', adding the name of your town or city. You might try calling your current dentist as well, as generally they are going to have a referral number or sometimes even a way to reach your regular dentist to get the care that you need. You should be able to obtain emergency root canal surgery fairly quickly .

weekend root canal
AnnaliseArt / Pixabay

Are there any preventative measures that I can take to avoid a root canal?

Once the pulp is damaged, you will have to have one. That said, regular brushing and flossing can help to keep your enamel in tip-top shape and protect the pulp from becoming compromised in the first place. Also, don't forget to visit your dentist at least every 3 months!

In conclusion

We've discussed the necessity of a root canal as well as the symptoms to watch out for(as well as the false alarms and warnings of other conditions.). Use this knowledge to your advantage and keep those teeth clean. With any luck, you'll never NEED a root canal!