A root canal is a treatment that is used to repair and save a tooth when the nerve is affected by decay or infection. The term “root canal” means the natural pocket within the center of the tooth which contains the pulp and nerve. The nerve is not vitally important to a tooth’s function; its only function is to provide sensation.
The nerve and pulp of a tooth can be damaged and infected by a cracked or chipped tooth, deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or trauma to the face.
When the pulp or root inside of a tooth is damaged, it breaks down causing bacteria to grow there. This causes an infection and can lead to an abscessed tooth. An abscess is a pocket of decay that forms at the ends of the tooth’s root and spreads past the root. This can cause bone loss or infection that spreads into the neck, face, or head.
Some patients believe that pulling a tooth is the solution when a tooth has these problems. However, that may end up being more costly since it will cause problems with the adjacent teeth.
Signs that a root canal is needed
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- A blister or sore on the gums
- Severe toothache pain
- Tenderness and/or swelling
- Discoloration or darkening of a tooth
- In some cases there are no symptoms
What is the process for a root canal?
While the tooth is numb an opening is made in the top and the nerve tissue, pulp, bacteria, and decay are removed then the tooth is cleaned and sealed.
After the procedure your tooth may be sensitive but as the inflammation subsides and the tooth heals this will go away.
Dr Yash will perform the root canal himself or provide a referral to an endodontist. If you have any questions or concerns about root canal treatment, please call or contact our office.