Root Canal Treatment
Root canal therapy is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected.
At LivingSmile Dental, a rooth canal procedure is performed when the nerve of the tooth becomes infected and damaged.
During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed, and the inside (canal) of the tooth is cleaned and sealed.
Why Does the Pulp Need to Be Removed?
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 abscessed tooth. An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms at the end of a tooth’s root. In addition to an abscess, an infection in the root canal of a tooth can cause:
- Swelling that may spread to other areas of the face, neck, or head. In severe cases, it can be life threatening!
- Bone loss around the tip of the root, leading to mobility and premature loss of the affected tooth.
- Drainage problems extending outward from the root. A hole can occur through the side of the tooth, with drainage into the gums or through the cheek into the skin.
What Damages a Tooth’s Nerve and Pulp in the First Place?
A tooth’s nerve and pulp can become irritated, inflamed, and infected due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth, large fillings, a crack in the tooth, or trauma to the tooth.
What Are the Signs That Root Canal Treatment Is Needed?
Signs you may need root canal treatment include:
- Severe toothache upon chewing or application of pressure
- Prolonged sensitivity (pain) to hot or cold temperatures (after the heat or cold has been removed)
- Discolouration (darkening) of the tooth
- Swelling and tenderness in nearby gums
- A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums with pus discharge.
- Sometimes no symptoms are present.
Alternatives to a Root Canal Treatment
Saving your natural teeth is the very best option, if possible.
Your natural teeth make it possible for you to eat a wide variety of foods necessary to maintain proper nutrition. The root canal procedure is the treatment of choice.
The only alternative to a root canal procedure is having the tooth extracted.
The tooth would then be replaced with a bridge, implant, or removable partial denture to restore chewing function and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting.
These alternatives not only are more expensive than a root canal procedure but require more treatment time and additional procedures to adjacent teeth and supporting tissues.