The pulp of a tooth is made up of nerves and blood cells. When these become infected or damaged, it can essentially kill the tooth. If one of your teeth is suffering from severe infection and decay, a root canal may be necessary to restore it back to health.
What is a root canal?
Simply put, a root canal is the removal of the infected pulp within the tooth. After the pulp is removed, the tooth is cleaned out and sealed to prevent further infection. Your teeth can survive without dental pulp because they receive nourishment from other tissue in your mouth.
Why are root canals important?
If at all possible, all efforts to save your natural tooth must be done. When you lose a tooth, it can lead to many painful complications. For instance, the missing space can become infected, the jaw bone beneath it can begin to deteriorate, and the teeth surrounding the missing tooth can shift out of place. Tooth replacements, such as implants and bridges, can be costly. To keep the natural appearance and full abilities of your tooth, it is important to take all necessary measures to save it should it become infected.
What causes damage to the pulp?
The pulp within your teeth can become damaged over time due to a wide variety of external factors. Trauma to the face, cracked teeth, poor dental hygiene, and repeated dental procedures can all affect the health of the tooth.
How do I know if I need a root canal?
If you are experiencing extreme pain in your teeth, specifically when you bite, chew, or apply pressure, something may be wrong. Extreme sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, discoloration and gum swelling are all also warning signs that your teeth may be infected. Contact your dentist immediately if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
What is the root canal procedure like?
Root canals require multiple visits and can be completed by either your dentist or endodontist. They will start with X-rays to look for signs of infection around your bone. Anesthesia will be used to make sure you do not feel pain during the procedure. We will drill a hole in your tooth and then remove the pulp and any other bacteria from the inside of it. After cleaning the tooth thoroughly, we will seal it.
What should I do after my treatment?
If all goes well, a root canal should relieve a lot of the pain you have been feeling around your infected tooth. Your teeth may feel sensitive after the treatment, but this can be treated with over the counter pain relievers and will go away.
If you think that one of your teeth is infected, give us a call today! We will take all measures to save your tooth and get your smile back on track.