When teeth become infected, they must be treated professionally or a patient will ultimately lose their tooth. Root canal therapy is a tooth-saving procedure that allows a person to retain a damaged tooth and enjoy optimal oral function. If your dentist has recommended root canal treatment, it is important to act quickly as the infection within a tooth can spread to neighboring tissue.
What is the root canal?
The root canal is part of a tooth’s anatomy. Inside a tooth is a hollowed area with nerve endings and pulp. A healthy root canal is sealed off from harmful pathogens. When a tooth is decayed, chipped, or cracked, however, infection-causing bacteria can enter the root canal. Since the contents of a root canal cannot fight infection, professional intervention is necessary to save the tooth.
Is root canal therapy necessary?
If your tooth is infected, root canal therapy is necessary to prevent the need for extraction. Without treatment, an infected tooth will eventually develop an abscess. Untreated abscesses produce intense discomfort and can spread to other tissue.
What does root canal therapy entail?
Root canal therapy is an endodontic procedure that removes infected material inside a tooth. Once the pulp and nerve endings are removed, the tooth is irrigated and sealed. Some patients may need a restoration after root canal therapy to protect damaged structures on the exterior surfaces of teeth.
Although patients can experience discomfort with an infected root canal, the procedure itself doesn’t produce sensations much different from receiving a filling. A dentist will use local anesthetics to ensure comfort during treatment.
Will root canal therapy stop a toothache?
Toothaches are a very common sign that a root canal is infected but not all patients experience noticeable symptoms. After root canal therapy, however, patients will be able to resume normal oral function without pain and discomfort.
Call Hulen Crossing Family Dental if you have questions about root canal treatment or if you would like to schedule an appointment.