Dental health and root canals
Root canals are experienced by thousands of patients across the nation. Long ago, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, you would probably lose that tooth. These days,with a dental procedure called root canal treatment, your tooth can be saved. Root canals are a relatively simple procedure that entail one to three office visits. Best of all, having a root canal can save your tooth and your smile!
What is the purpose of a root canal?
A tooth’s nerve is not vitally important to the tooth’s health and function after it has emerged through the gums. Its only function is sensory: to convey 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. A root canal may also be needed if there is trauma to 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 jawbone, 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 or spontaneous aching, pain with chewing, 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, we remove 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 to strengthen and protect the tooth from breakage. As long as you continue to care for your teeth and gums with regular brushing, flossing, and checkups, your restored tooth can last many years.