Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated, dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function.
Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would have to be removed. Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the solution, but extracting (pulling) a tooth can be ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth. Root canal treatment is highly successful and usually lasts a lifetime, although on occasion, a tooth will have to be retreated due to new infections, vertical cracks and recurrent decay.
Signs and symptoms for possible root canal therapy:
- An abscess (or pimple) on the gums or visible on the X-rays
- Severe sensitivity to hot and cold
- Toothache pain
- Sometimes no symptoms are present
- Swelling and/or tenderness
Reasons for root canal therapy:
- Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth)
- Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip
- Injury or trauma to the tooth
Pain free Toothache relief
A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments. Our practice performs pain free root canal therapy, even in the event of a severe toothache. Very often, a toothache can be relieved by draining and cleaning the dead, infected nerve tissue and placing and medicated paste. This is a fast and predictable procedure that alleviates the suffering common with toothaches.
Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it will be sealed with either a permanent filling or, if additional appointments are needed, a temporary filling will be placed. At the next appointment, usually a week later, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental materials. A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth. In addition, all teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown (cap) placed. This will protect the tooth, prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function.
After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed.
You will be given care instructions after each appointment. Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your root canal treatment.