Root canal therapy is treatment used to repair and save a tooth that has been infected due to a deep cavity, cracked tooth, or pulp death due to trauma. The treatment involves removing the pulp and the nerves of the tooth, and cleaning the infected area. A tooth’s pulp and nerve is not important to a tooth’s health and function after the tooth has fully emerged from the gums. If the treatment is not performed, pus builds up at the root tip and the infection of the pulp can spread to the surrounding bone. This may result in pain and swelling, and your tooth would likely have to be removed.
Signs that a root canal is needed
Severe tooth pain while chewing
Tooth pain waking you up at night
Tooth is highly sensitive to hot or cold, with sensitivity lingering for some time
Discolorations or darkening of the tooth
Swollen gums in the area of the infected tooth
An abscess detected during x-rays at the base of the tooth
What does the treatment involve?
First, an opening is made into the pulp chamber through the crown of the tooth. Once the pulp is removed, the root canal is thoroughly cleaned. Then the root is filled with material that takes away pain and infection and seals the root. Soon after, a filling and / or crown should be placed.
Root canal therapy has a high rate of success and any teeth undergoing the procedure can be saved to last a lifetime.