Root canals, also called endodontic therapy, are common procedure, and the experience is similar to having a tooth filled.
Inside your tooth is a soft area known as the pulp, which contains important blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue. Though the pulp normally provides a tooth with nutrients, at times it can become infected.
When this occurs, the pulp decays and dies and a root canal becomes necessary. During a root canal, your Fresh Dental Smiles dentist first removes all of a tooth’s diseased pulp, and then cleans the area. This is typically the most time-consuming part of the procedure, as your Fresh Dental Smiles dentist needs to clean out every bit of material to make sure that no trace of infection or bacteria remains.
The space where the pulp used to be is filled with a non-reactive and biocompatible material called gutta-percha, and topped with a temporary filling. After a few weeks, your Fresh Dental Smiles dentist removes the filling, checking again for any bacteria, and applies a permanent crown.
A Root Canal helps:
Eliminate disease or decay – The infection from a diseased or dead pulp can cause pain, health problems, and teeth loss.
Prevent future infections – If not completely removed, the infection can remain and spread.
Save a tooth – In the past, if you had a tooth with a diseased pulp, it was usually extracted. Now, root canals can help you keep that tooth. Even teeth with significant damage from disease or accident can be saved with root canals, and can last for the rest of your life.
Signs You May Need a Root Canal
An infection usually provides some warning signs. If the pulp of your tooth has become diseased, you may:
- Suffer pain.
- Feel prolonged or increased sensitivity to heat or cold or pressure.
- See a discoloration or a large cavity.
- Experience a foul taste in your mouth, even after brushing.
- Notice pus that drains into your mouth.
- Experience swollen or tender lymph nodes.
Sometimes, there are no noticeable symptoms, but your Fresh Dental Smile dentist may discover the infection during a routine visit.