If you have a severely damaged or decayed tooth, root canal therapy could be the last treatment option to save a damaged tooth. The root canal treatment aims to eradicate bacteria from the infected canals by placing an inert material into the canals. This treatment of the canals prevents reinfection and saves the natural tooth.
Root canal treatments can be performed at dental offices by a simple and painless procedure, allowing the tooth to be saved from an extraction. It then can be restored to its ideal condition with a crown or a filing.
What leads to a root canal infection?
A cavity (tooth decay) that has been ignored for a long time can lead to a root canal infection. If a cavity is left untreated, it will grow wider and deeper, affecting the underlying dentin. Ultimately, microbes can enter the pulp chamber and canals, infecting the tissues of the pulp. In addition to tooth decay, external trauma resulting in broken, chipped teeth could also lead to the infection of the pulp canal, necessitating a root canal.
Symptoms of root canal infection
Patients who have a root canal infection usually face the following symptoms:
- Sensitivity to the tooth where changes in temperature are prolonged.
- Severe pain while biting or chewing food, brushing teeth, etc.
- Discoloration of the infected tooth due to the damaged pulp.
- Discharge of pus or blood from the gums.
- Bone loss around the root of the tooth.
- Loosening of the tooth from the socket.
What happens if you don't get a root canal?
If you have a severely infected tooth that is left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of the body and can even be life-threatening.
Once you visit our dentist with severe tooth decay or pain, we will examine the infected tooth and take a radiograph of the tooth, using x-rays and sensitivity tests to diagnose the affected tooth's condition. After numbing the affected tooth and the surrounding area with a local anesthetic, a protective sheet, or dental dam, is placed over the affected area to isolate the tooth from moisture during the procedure.
During the treatment, the dentist removes the damaged pulp from within the root canal cavity by making a hole in the affected tooth and removing the damaged pulp. The walls of the canals are then cleaned, and an antimicrobial medication may be placed in it to prevent re-infection and growth of microbes. Finally, the root canal is completed by using an adhesive material in the canal.
Using a crown to complete a root canal restored tooth is used due to weakening from they damage or decay, is sometimes recommended.
Call us or request an appointment online if you have additional questions about root canal treatments.