There are times when a tooth becomes unhealthy and is in danger of needing to be extracted. Instead of pulling the tooth, which may cause other dental problems, root canal therapy may be applied to save it. This procedure can enable the tooth to be saved and to function as a normal tooth.
The Reason for a Root Canal
The primary reason for a root canal is because the tooth has become infected or inflamed on the inside. This is going to result in considerable pain for the patient and relief will be desired.
The infection or inflammation can be caused several ways. It can get into the tooth through a crack in the enamel, or through a missing chip. It can also get into the tooth through a cavity or from the tooth roots.
Treatment is necessary, not only to remove the pain but also to prevent the possibility of an abscess. An abscess is an infection that will get into the gums and spread. It will become even more painful, may result in bone loss, and there is a potential that it may even become fatal – if it gets to the brain.
Symptoms That Indicate a Root Canal Is Needed
Although a dentist will need to confirm it, you can know that you are likely headed for a root canal if you have some of the following symptoms:
- Swollen or sensitive gums
- Severe pain when biting or chewing
- Gums that are becoming darker
- A tooth that is chipped or cracked
- Pimples on the gums
- Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold
The Benefit of a Root Canal
While rumors abound that a root canal therapy is painful, the truth is the exact opposite. You experience pain before the treatment because the inflammation is putting pressure on the nerve in your tooth. Treatment includes removing the nerve so that you do not feel pain any longer.
The Treatment Process
The dentist will make a hole in the top of the tooth. With special tools, the pulp and nerve inside the root canal will be removed and cleaned out. A disinfectant will be used to destroy any remaining bacteria and to prevent reinfection. The hole is filled with a material called gutta percha, which will help prevent reinfection from the roots.
When completed, the dentist will likely provide a temporary crown on the tooth. In some cases, a filling may be all that is needed. If a crown is necessary, it will have to be made in a lab, and put on later. You will receive a temporary crown in the meantime.
Dentists regularly perform root canals and use the process to save many teeth. If a tooth is extracted, it could cause misalignment of nearby teeth and eventual bone loss. The root canal enables you to retain the tooth and your smile.
The friendly dentists at Bright White Dental frequently perform root canal therapy to help preserve smiles. We have many satisfied patients in the area. Our office treats all members of the family and we provide preventive dentistry.