A dental procedure that is used to repair and save a tooth that is decayed or infected is known as a root canal. If you have a cavity and do not visit the dentist for a filling, your tooth will continue to decay and cause a deeper hole. When this occurs, you may be a candidate for a root canal.

How to Determine When a Cavity is Too Deep

The three layers of a tooth include the top layer or enamel, the middle layer or the dentin and the deepest layer or nerve tissue. If your tooth decays to the enamel or dentin, a filling will be enough to repair it.

However, if you do not treat the cavity with a filling, the decay will likely make its way to the nerve tissue, the deepest layer of the tooth. When this happens, you will need a root canal to repair your cavity.

Signs a Root Canal is Necessary

You may be asking yourself, “how do I know if my cavity has reached the nerve tissue?” There are several symptoms that you may experience if this is the case. These symptoms include:

  • A sensitive tooth, especially when eating or drinking something hot or cold
  • A toothache when pressure is applied to the tooth
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Gum swelling and tenderness

What to Expect From a Root Canal

If you are in need of a root canal, a dentist will numb the area near the tooth with a local anesthetic. They will then remove the decayed nerve tissue on the tooth. Next, the tooth will be washed and cleaned so that a filling can be placed. Since a root canal touches a sensitive part of your tooth, you may be uncomfortable for a few days following the procedure.

How to Avoid a Root Canal

To avoid the discomfort and high cost that a root canal may bring, you should make excellent oral hygiene a top priority. Brush and floss your teeth twice a day, visit the dentist every six months, and get cavities filled right away.

Contact Wainright & Wassel DDS

If you believe you may need a root canal or would like to prevent one through quality Raleigh dental exams and cleanings, we encourage you to schedule an appointment at Wainright & Wassel DDS today. Call us at 919-847-1322.