Root canal therapy is an important treatment of tooth nerves when they are decayed or infected. If left alone, the tooth will be deprived of its function and will die. To prevent this, the pulp, or the living tissue inside the tooth, nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed. The empty space is filled with a material that restores the tooth’s function.
Some people would prefer to have the tooth removed altogether, but that choice is more costly, can take longer, and can easily effect adjacent teeth. A root canal saves your tooth, and usually last a lifetime.
There are a few symptoms you should keep in mind that could signal problems with your roots:
- • an abscess or pimple on the gum
- • sensitivity to hot and cold
- • severe toothache
- • swelling and tenderness
These symptoms are not always present. Even so, a root canal is necessary. If ignored, it can lead to severe problems:
- • decay reaching the tooth pulp
- • infections or abscess inside the tooth or at the tip of the root
- • injury or trauma to the tooth
- • tooth decay and gum infections
A root canal procedure can take just one appointment with a dentist or endodontist, a root canal specialist. The tooth is first numbed and covered in a sheet of rubber to keep it dry. The inside of the tooth is accessed by an opening made at the top of the tooth, through which instruments are used to remove pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria. If there is tooth decay, that too will be removed.
Once the tooth is cleaned thoroughly, the will be sealed with a permanent filling, or a temporary one is more appointments are needed. A cap may also be places on top of the tooth to prevent it from breaking. After the treatment, the tooth may still be sensitive due to inflammation, but this should subside once the tooth fully heals.