One thing is certain: By the time you have signs that you may need endodontic surgery, there will be no doubt in your mind that you should come to Cascadia Dental Specialists for an exam. Our endodontic experts are prepared to take fast action to relieve your pain and treat the problem.
Here’s some information that will help you understand endodontic surgery and the top five signs that your dental problem is serious and needs quick attention.
Reasons for endodontic surgery
When the soft inner pulp of your tooth becomes infected, there’s only one way to treat the problem and save your natural tooth, and that’s to remove the pulp. We can usually take care of the problem with a nonsurgical root canal, but sometimes there’s no way around endodontic surgery.
During a root canal, we remove pulp through the outer crown of your tooth. When we need direct access to the pulp and tooth root, we cut an incision in the gum. This type of endodontic surgery allows us to clear away the pulp through the root and to remove infected tissues in the underlying bone.
Here are some situations that may require endodontic surgery:
If you have ongoing symptoms, yet X-ray doesn’t show a problem, surgery may be needed so we can clearly examine the entire tooth root.
In some patients, calcium deposits make the canal too narrow to accommodate the instruments used during a nonsurgical root canal. With endodontic surgery, we can fully clean the root and seal the canal.
Repair damaged root surfaces or surrounding bone
Infection can enter your jawbone directly from your teeth. By the time the pulp is infected, chances are the tooth root surfaces or the surrounding bone have also become infected and suffered damage. When that happens, you may need endodontic surgery to clear away and repair damaged tissues.
Treat a nonsurgical root canal that didn’t heal
After a root canal, your tooth can last the rest of your life. In rare cases, however, the tooth may not heal well after your root canal or it may become infected again. At that point, surgery is often needed to save your tooth.
No matter why we recommend endodontic surgery, be assured that you can get the dental care you need without worrying about pain. We use the most advanced technology combined with sedation dentistry so that your procedure is quick and painless.
Five signs you may need endodontic surgery
So let’s get down to the top five signs that you may need endodontic surgery. These are the symptoms you’re most likely to have that indicate a serious problem inside your tooth or jaw:
Continuous, severe pain
An infection inside the pulp or the tooth root will cause pain, usually excruciating pain. This pain isn’t going away, it will only get worse because an infected pulp won’t heal on its own. If you have an abscess at the bottom of the tooth root, your pain may radiate to the jawbone, ear, or neck. Unfortunately, pain due to an inflamed dental pulp is one of the most common causes of tooth pain.
Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
Your teeth may be sensitive due to decay, worn tooth enamel, a cracked tooth, receding gums, and several other causes. But that type of sensitivity is different from sensitivity that signals the need for endodontic surgery. When tooth sensitivity is due to a pulp infection, you’ll find that it’s more intense and lasts longer.
Pain when touched
If your tooth is painful to a gentle, very slight touch, it’s a sure sign you have a problem that could need endodontic surgery. Don’t assume the pain will go away; it will continue to worsen until the underlying endodontic problem is treated.
Sudden tooth discoloration
Tooth discoloration caused by coffee, tea, wine, and other foods and beverages occurs gradually over time and with frequent consumption of the stain-inducing product. A sudden discoloration is a sign of an infection spreading through the tooth and down into the gums and jawbone. When you see this abrupt change, it’s the sign of an infection that may require endodontic surgery.
Pimple-like bump on your gum
Chances are you expect to see redness and swelling in your gums when you have a problem serious enough to need endodontic surgery. But in many cases, the first sign is a bump on your gum caused by a collection of pus. You may feel the lump before any pain sets in, but the longer the infection persists, the more painful the bump becomes.
We understand that dental pain and the prospect of endodontic surgery may be anxiety producing, but it’s important to schedule an appointment at Cascadia Dental Specialists before your pain gets worse. Our endodontists specialize in quickly alleviating your pain and taking care of the problem, whether it requires endodontic surgery or not.