What are root canals?
Root canals are tiny passageways that branch off from beneath the top of the tooth, coursing their way vertically downward until they reach the tip of the tooth root.
Most teeth have between one and four root canals. Many tooth problems involve infections that spread to the pulp, which is the inner chamber of the tooth containing blood vessels, nerves, and other tissues. When an infection becomes bad enough, it can affect a tooth root.
Why do I need a root canal?
When the inside of a tooth is infected, it brings a host of problems, including pain and sensitivity. These are often the first signs of the infection. A spreading infection can cause small pockets of pus to develop inside the tooth, which can lead to an abscessed tooth.
A traumatic injury to a tooth can also compromise the pulp, leading to similar problems that need to be treated by root canal therapy.
Root canal therapy has a very high rate of success. It involves removing the diseased tissue from a tooth’s root canal, halting the spread of infection and restoring the healthy portion of the tooth.
Best of all, root canal therapy is designed to save a tooth. Before the procedure was developed, the only alternative for treating a diseased tooth was extraction.
What’s involved in root canal therapy?
Root canal therapy usually entails one to three visits. During the first visit, the infected tissue is removed, the inner chamber of the tooth is cleansed and disinfected, and the tiny canals are reshaped.
Then the cleansed chamber and canals are filled with a replacement material, along with medication designed to prevent another infection. If necessary, the tooth receives a temporary filling until a permanent seal is made with a crown.
Most patients who have root canal report feeling very little to no discomfort or pain. They enjoy a restored tooth that can last almost as long as a tooth that was never infected.
Do I really need a root canal?
Root canal therapy is needed when an injury or large cavity damages your tooth’s pulp or nerve. A patient may experience severe toothaches prior to being evaluated for a root canal. This pain can also manifest itself as a sensitivity to heat or cold or as a generalized headache.
If the tooth dies prior to being evaluated, an abscess can form. Therefore it is extremely important to get a proper evaluation for diagnosis.
Get Relief from Your Infection!
If you have any of these painful symptoms, call Tabor Dental Associates today! We’ll get you the soonest appointment possible, so we can try to save your tooth.