Root Canal Therapy
Each tooth has a sensitive pulp in its core that can become irritated or damaged due to decay, wear or trauma. When the pulp is infected, it can cause serious dental pain, infection of the bone surrounding the tooth root and even swelling. Teeth with damaged pulps need root canal therapy to help preserve their function.
Some common signs that your tooth may have a damaged pulp, and you may need a root canal are:
- Hot or cold food causing discomfort or pain
- Pain in the tooth that may be more evident at night
- Pain in the tooth upon biting
- A change in tooth color
- A pin-point pimple like swelling on the gum above a tooth
- A swelling inside the mouth or over the face
The Root Canal Procedure
The root canal procedure may be completed over a few sittings. After numbing the affected tooth, a small access is created to the pulp within the tooth. Fine root canal instruments are then used to clean and shape the root canal space of the infected tooth. Medication is usually placed within the root canal to help it heal in-between each appointment, while a temporary filling blocks its opening. As the root canal space becomes dry and infection free, an inert root canal filling is placed to close the root canal space completely. The cavity within the tooth can now be restored with a permanent material. After a tooth is root canal treated it becomes brittle and it is strongly recommended that it be protected with a crown or cap to prevent the tooth from fracture and damage to the tooth structure.