Root canals are procedures done to save an infected tooth and keep it from falling out. Because root canals are always time-sensitive, the longer you wait, the greater the damage to the root becomes, and it is only a matter of time before even a dentist will not be able to save the tooth.
Not all root canals are emergencies. Some characteristics of a damaged root that needs attention are:
- if the affected root causes you debilitating pain, making it hard or impossible to get through your day without painkillers
- signs of severe infection on or around the teeth and gums, causing swelling and damage
- a pimple-like cyst of pus forms on the gumline by the roots
Many emergency root canals become necessary after a tooth suffers damage, cracking or chipping it, exposing the inner layers. This can make the tooth sensitive and even unbearably painful. Once this happens, it is only a matter of time before the tooth becomes infected and dies.