• Root Canals

    Root Canals

    When you have a problem with your tooth, a root canal may be a necessary procedure.  So, what is a root canal?  It is a procedure to repair and save an infected or badly damaged tooth. The pulp or the nerves may be infected.  The procedure removes the damage inside the tooth, called the pulp, and then it is cleaned and disinfected.  The tooth is filled and sealed.

    The problems usually encountered that would require a root canal are a cracked tooth, deep cavity, several treatments on the same tooth, and trauma to the tooth.  If one of these events occur, come visit us at our dental office and let us get to work on fixing your tooth.

    The first step in a root canal is to take an X-ray to examine the tooth and determine where the decay is located.  Anesthesia is usually administered to the affected tooth.  It is important to note that due to anesthesia, the root canal will feel no different than obtaining a regular filling for a cavity.  An opening is made in the tooth and the diseased tooth pulp is removed.  The roots that have been opened are then filled with a tooth-filling material and sealed with cement.  A crown is usually placed over the top portion of the tooth where the tooth was drilled into to remove the pulp.

    Many people are worried that the removal of a nerve in the tooth can be a problem, but all the nerve is responsible for is sensing hot or cold.  After removal of the root, you tooth is still going to function as it should.  This is why the tooth pulp must be removed if it is infected.  It can decay and cause an abscess that can fill with pus and cause an infection. This infection can lead to swelling in the face and the neck.  It can also cause bone loss in the jaw.  Our dentists want to make sure you don’t encounter these issues, so make sure to come in and get your dental check-up as a preventative measure in the health of your teeth.

    So, how do you know if you may need a root canal?  The symptoms of this can be a toothache when there is pressure.   There may also be long bouts of sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.  The tooth may also begin to darken in color.  There can also be swelling and tenderness in the gum area and even a recurring pimple on the gums in the region of the affected tooth.

    Obtaining a root canal is a safe and necessary procedure if you have a damaged tooth.  The alternative is an extraction of the tooth itself, which would require an implant or partial denture to restore the function of chewing and ensure that adjacent teeth do not shift.  This is why it is a better option to catch tooth decay early and go for the conservative approach of a root canal.  Our dentist’s office would be glad to become your provider, so contact us for an appointment today!

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