Root canal therapy treats the inside of a tooth in order to correct problems resulting from infection or pulp inflammation. Failure to treat these issues can lead to abscesses, severe pain, and possible tooth loss. We perform root canal therapy in order to save your tooth by repairing the structure, function, and appearance.
Reasons You Might Need a Root Canal
Root canal therapy is most commonly used to repair teeth that have become infected or experienced significant decay. When the inner pulp in a tooth is damaged, a root canal will remove the damaged portion – including the nerve – before cleaning out and sealing the inner portion of your tooth.
Signs That You Might Need a Root Canal
In some cases, you may not experience any symptoms to indicate that you need a root canal. If you do notice any changes, there are some signs that are more common than others:
- Throbbing pain in a specific tooth that could get worse, depending on your jaw position
- Pain triggered by exposure to hot and cold temperatures
- Pain that gets worse when you chew or bite
If you suspect a problem with a tooth, your dentist can examine it to identify the source of your discomfort. X-ray imaging, percussion testing, and electric pulp testing can all help us determine if a root canal is warranted.
What Will Happen
Root canals can be completed in one or more visits to the dentist. A local anesthetic is used to prevent pain, and a dental dam is placed over your tooth to keep it free of saliva. An opening is then placed in the crown in order to access the pulp chamber.
Once inside the pulp chamber, the inner workings of the tooth will be cleaned out. The space is shaped and filled with gutta-percha (a substance resembling rubber), and then you’ll have a filling put into place.