Dental Health and Root canals
- When a tooth has a deep cavity, is cracked or even chipped, bacteria is able to enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. If this is left untreated, an abscess can form. If the diseased pulp tissue is not removed, pain and swelling will occur. This will in turn affect your jawbone, and can be detrimental to your overall health. Put simply a root canal treatment is the last ditch effort to save a tooth, rather than it being lost to an extraction.
- A tooth’s pulp tissue (nerve tissue) is not crucial to it’s functioning after the tooth has erupted through the gums into the oral cavity. The only function it has is sensory, and it provides the sensation of heat or cold. The presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the day-to-day functioning of your tooth.
What are the signs that a root canal is needed?
Signs that you might need a root canal can include severe toothache, pain when chewing or when pressure is applied, prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold food stuff and drinks, a dark discoloration of the tooth, and swelling and tenderness in the surrounding gums. Be aware because not all teeth that require root canal therapy are painful. If you experience any of these symptoms please contact your dentist.
What happens during a root canal treatment?
If you require a root canal treatment, one to three visits will be scheduled. During those visits, the infected tissue will be removed following which the inner empty pulp chamber of the tooth will be cleaned up and sealed. Lastly, the tooth will be filled with dental composite filling material. If your tooth had extensive decay, we may recommend putting a crown on the tooth to strengthen and protect your tooth from breakage or fracture. Your restored tooth can last a lifetime as long as you continue to care for your teeth.