With all the information available on the Internet today, many people look up dental conditions and procedures prior to contacting their dentist. However, your Honolulu, HI, dentist, Dr. Garrett Hayashi, wants to make sure his patients have the correct information so they're making good decisions about their dental health. He explains the purpose of root canals here and lists some of the signs that can indicate you need one.
What is a root canal?
Many people express fear at the idea of getting a root canal but aren't entirely sure what they are. Dr. Hayashi explains to his patients that root canals are nothing to fear; they're not painful or damaging to your health. In fact, root canals actually remove the source of pain, which is caused by infected or damaged tissues inside the tooth. These tissues are cleaned out and replaced with a rubber material known as gutta percha; it's very strong and keeps the tooth stable. A crown, typically made from metal or porcelain, finishes off the procedure and keeps your tooth protected from any further damage.
What are some signs that I may need a root canal?
- Tooth sensitivity: Sensitivity is a common dental issue and happens when the enamel begins to weaken and the nerves within the dentin underneath become stimulated, often by hot or cold foods and drinks. It stands to reason that the weaker your enamel is, the more sensitive your teeth will be, which explains why a deep crack or severe decay can cause long-lasting sensitivity that can be very uncomfortable. A root canal from your Honolulu dentist fixes this symptom by removing the dentin and the rest of the structures inside the tooth.
- Pain: A sharp pain while biting down can be a clear indication that you've sustained a severe break in a tooth. That discomfort you're feeling while chewing is the outside of your tooth rubbing up against the inside and coming into contact with the nerves. Having a root canal will help to get you out of pain and restore normal function to your tooth.
- Abscess: If the inner tissues of one of your teeth have become infected, your body may try to rid itself of the bacteria by creating an open sore on the gums near the affected tooth. You may also experience swelling, pain, and a fever. It's important to contact your Honolulu dentist right away if you think you have a dental abscess.
If you think you need a root canal, or have further questions, contact Dr. Garrett Hayashi's dental office in Honolulu, HI, at (808) 536-5090 for an appointment today!