Root canal therapy, also known as endodontic therapy, is necessary when the nerve of a tooth becomes infected or the pulp becomes damaged. When this infection occurs, the nerve and pulp break down and bacteria begins to multiply inside the pulp chamber. Root canal therapy is a procedure in which the nerve and the pulp of the tooth are removed and the inner chamber is cleaned and sealed, preventing the infection from spreading and developing abscesses.
If you have any of these signs, a root canal procedure may be necessary:
- Continual sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Severe pain when you chew
- A recurring or persistent pimple or sore on the gums
- “Darkening” of the color of the tooth
- Swollen or tender gums around the tooth
Although root canal procedures have a reputation of being painful, the truth is that most patients who have a root canal procedure say that it is no more painful than having a filling placed. In general, the procedure takes up to three visits to perform. To begin the procedure, a small hole is drilled from the top of the tooth into the chamber for the dentist to be able to remove the infected pulp or nerve and clean/disinfect the chamber. We then fill the chamber with an elastic material and seal the hole. The hole is sometimes temporarily filled until a dental crown can be placed over the tooth to permanently seal it. Afterwards, you can chew with the tooth normally. If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, give us a call right away to make an appointment.