Root canal therapy is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. During a root canal procedure the root and the pulp which is the soft area within the center of the tooth are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed.
When nerve tissue or pulp is damaged, it breaks down and bacteria begin to multiply within the pulp chamber. The bacteria and other decayed debris can cause an infection or an abscessed tooth. An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms at the end of a tooth’s root. If left untreated, the infection can cause swelling that may spread to other areas of the face, neck, or head. In addition, bone loss around the tooth due to infection could make the tooth unstable and much harder to save.
Some symptoms or signs that you may need root canal would be sever tooth ache upon chewing or application of pressure, prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold, swelling and tenderness in nearby gum and discoloration of the tooth. Root canal procedures have the reputation of being painful. Actually, most people report that the procedure itself is no more painful than having a filling placed. The discomfort experienced in the period leading up to seeking dental care is truly painful, not the root canal procedure itself.
The root canal procedure should relieve the pain. Until root canal procedure is completely finished which is, the permanent filling and a crown is in place, it’s wise to minimize chewing on the tooth. This step will help prevent a fragile tooth from breaking before the tooth can be fully restored.
I have preformed thousands of root canals throughout my dental career, many of which could have been prevented if only daily oral care and six months dental check ups had been maintained. Unfortunately some patients have this preconceived notion that if they don’t have pain than all is will and no action is necessary. However, the truth is that by the time pain sets in, it is too late. So take care of your pearly whites and come visit us every six months.