A root canal is a special dental procedure called root canal treatment that can save your tooth and your radiant smile!
What is the purpose of a root canal?
At the center of your tooth is something called “pulp”, which is a collection of blood vessels that helps to build the surrounding tooth. Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep tooth decay, cracks, chips, or repeated dental procedures. A tooth's nerve is not vitally important to a tooth's health and function after the tooth has emerged through the gums. Its only function is sensory – to provide the sensation of hot or cold. The presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the day-to-day functioning of the tooth.
When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. If left untreated, an abscess may form. If the infected tissue is not removed, pain and swelling can result. This can not only injure your jawbones, but it is detrimental to your overall health. Without the proper treatment, your tooth may have to be removed.
What are the signs that a root canal is needed?
Teeth that require root canal therapy are not always painful. However, signs you may need a root canal include severe toothache, pain upon chewing or application of pressure, prolonged sensitivity or pain in response to hot and cold temperatures, a dark discoloration of the tooth, and swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact us.
What happens during a root canal?
Root canal treatment involves one to three visits. During treatment, one of dentist removes the affected tissue. Next, the interior of the tooth will be cleaned and sealed. Finally, the tooth is filled with a dental composite. If your tooth had extensive decay, your doctor may suggest placing a crown or “cap” to strengthen and protect the tooth from breakage. After the procedure you will return to your normal comfortable routine. As long as you continue to care for your teeth and gums with regular brushing, flossing, and checkups, your restored tooth can last a lifetime.