Why do I need a Root Canal?
You may be visiting this page because you feel you may need an endodontic treatment, or a “root canal”.
When the pulp of a tooth becomes infected or dies, root canal therapy is necessary to save the tooth. It is generally a comfortable treatment that can save your tooth and keep your mouth healthy.
What is endodontic treatment?
“Endo” is the Greek word for “inside” and “odont” is Greek for “tooth.” Endodontic treatment treats the inside of the tooth.
To understand endodontic treatment, it helps to know something about the anatomy of the tooth. Inside the tooth, under the white enamel and a hard layer called the dentin, is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue and creates the surrounding hard tissues of the tooth during development.
What is a Root Canal?
The pulp extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the roots where it connects to the tissues surrounding the root. The pulp is important during a tooth’s growth and development. However, once a tooth is fully mature it can survive without the pulp, because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it.
Why would I need this procedure?
Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, a blow to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.
Symptoms of Infection
- The tooth is sensitive to hot or cold
- The tooth hurts when biting or pressure
- There is a throbbing, severe tooth pain
- The area is swollen
- You have a bad taste in your mouth
Sometimes, there are no obvious or noticeable symptoms to let you know there is a problem! Only regular dental visits and digital x-rays as well as the expert eye of the dentist can reveal the underlying trauma.
How does this procedure save my tooth?
We first remove the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully cleans and shapes the inside of the tooth, then fills and seals the space. Afterwards, we will place a crown or other restoration on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function. After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth.
Will I feel pain during or after the procedure?
Many endodontic procedures are performed to relieve the pain of toothaches caused by pulp inflammation or infection. With modern techniques and anesthetics, most patients report that they are comfortable during the procedure.
For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. This discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Follow your dentists instructions carefully.
Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your endodontic treatments is completed. However, as with any dental treatment if you have severe pain or pressure or pain that lasts more than a few days, call our office!