A Root Canal is the term used to describe the natural cavity within the center of the tooth. The pulp or pulp chamber is the soft area within the root canal. The tooth’s nerve lies within the root canal.
Root canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is made necessary when a cavity is allowed, through neglect, to reach all the way to this pulp. (Regular cleanings and checkups prevent and detect problems early) Sometimes deep restorations or trauma to a tooth may cause the nerve to be damaged to the point it needs root canal therapy, also.
A root canal is then performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp, and disinfect the canals of the tooth. The only other treatment would be to extract the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) are filled in to prevent any further infection. Usually a core build-up and crown is recommended for restoring a tooth that has had root canal therapy.
We perform root canals on a regular basis. This treatment is the best way to combat decay and stop infections in your teeth. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form.
If you have experienced any of the following symptoms, you may be in need of a root canal. Regardless of the diagnosis, it is important to come in for an exam to find out what is causing your discomfort before a serious infection takes place.
Severe toothache pain: If you have severe pain while chewing, or when any pressure is applied to a certain area of your mouth.
Sensitivity to hot and cold: If you experience sensitivity or pain while eating hot or cold foods to the point you avoid them or have to stop eating them.
Discoloration of a tooth: If you notice a certain tooth or teeth are no longer white but look more stained or yellow in color compared to your other teeth.
Swelling and tenderness in nearby gums: If you notice pain in a tooth is spreading and causing inflammation throughout your gums.
A pimple on your gum: If you notice what looks like a pimple on the gum next to a tooth. This could be a sign of an abscess which should be taken very seriously.
No symptoms: Sometimes patients do not notice anything is wrong or do not experience any symptoms. This is why it is so important to have regular check ups and cleanings with your dentist.