In the past, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, you would probably lose that tooth. Today, with a special dental procedure called root canal treatment, your tooth can be saved. Root canals are a relatively simple, quick and most times PAINLESS procedure involving one to two short office visits. Best of all, having a root canal when necessary can save your tooth and your smile!
What is the purpose of a root canal?
A tooth's nerve is not vitally important to a tooth's health and function after the tooth has emerged through the gums. Its only function is sensory – to provide the sensation of hot or cold. The presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the day-to-day functioning of the tooth.
When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. This is usually very painfull, but not allways. when left untreated, an abscess may form. If the infected nerve is not removed, pain and swelling will result. This can not only injure your jawbones, but it is detrimental to your overall health. Without the proper treatment, your tooth will have to be removed.
What are the signs that a root canal is needed?
Teeth that require root canal therapy are not always painful. However, signs you may need a root canal include severe toothache, pain upon chewing or application of pressure, prolonged sensitivity or pain in response to hot and cold temperatures, a dark discoloration of the tooth, and swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact us at Rockwell Dentistry.
What happens during a root canal?
Root canal treatment involves one to two short visits. During treatment, Dr. Rockwell removes the affected tissue and the interior of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. After the completion of the root canal treatment, the tooth is restored by placing a post and a titanium reinforced filling material inside the tooth, and a crown is placed to strengthen and protect the tooth from breakage. As long as you continue to care for your teeth and gums with regular brushing, flossing, and checkups, your restored tooth can last a lifetime.