Endodontic therapy, or root canal therapy, is performed when the nerve of a tooth becomes infected or the pulp becomes damaged. When this happens, the nerve and pulp break down and bacteria begins to multiply inside the pulp chamber. An infection or an abscessed tooth can result from the bacteria. 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.
If you have any of these signs, root canal therapy may be necessary:
- Severe pain in the tooth when you chew
- Continual sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- “Darkening” of the tooth
- The gums near the tooth are swollen or tender
- A pimple on the gums that’s persistent or recurring
Root canal procedures have the reputation of being one of the most painful dental procedures. The truth is, most patients say that the procedure itself is no more painful than having a filling placed. The entire procedure usually takes up to three visits to perform. First, a small hole is drilled from the top of the tooth into the chamber. After that, the infected pulp is removed and the chamber is cleaned and disinfected. The dentist will then fill the chamber with an elastic material and sealed. Sometimes, the hole is temporarily filled until a dental crown can be placed over the tooth to permanently seal it. If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, give is a call right away to make an appointment.