Root Canals – Are They Ever Elective? The Endodontists at Florida Dental Centers in Pinellas Park, FL, Explain
Root canals offer a way to avoid the extraction of natural teeth when the pulp becomes infected. Most people are well aware of the classic symptoms that can signal the need for root canal therapy – mainly, extreme tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, and pressure or pain when biting. Nevertheless, root canals are sometimes necessary even when there is no pain or other symptoms. The endodontists at Florida Dental Centers in Pinellas Park, Florida, can explain why.
During a periodic dental checkup exam, a dentist at Florida Dental Centers in Pinellas Park, FL, will take a series of diagnostic x-ray images. When reviewing these images, it is sometimes possible for a dentist to identify:
- The early signs of an infection starting at the tip of a tooth root
- A slight root fracture
In both situations, root canals are necessary and should be performed as soon as possible. Even though a patient might not be experiencing any pain, as the infection progresses and the tooth nerve dies, the surrounding area will become inflamed and create throbbing pressure.
Furthermore, infections needn’t be present to require root canals. For example, if a tooth or large restoration breaks and the remaining tooth structure is insufficient to support a filling, a crown is generally recommended. Of course, crowns, in and of themselves, do not necessitate root canals. However, a crown does require a certain amount of tooth surface to support it. If there is not enough natural tooth area left, a post and core can be used to fortify the tooth. In this situation, root canal therapy might be recommended to remove the nerve from a tooth canal and allow a post to be bonded therein. This procedure is often referred to as “elective root canal therapy,” which simply means that it was performed in the absence of infection.
For further information about root canals, or to schedule an appointment at our office in Pinellas Park, FL, please contact Florida Dental Centers today.