A root canal is a natural canal that runs within the center of each root. It consists of a soft “pulp” that contains the tooth’s nerve and blood vessels. When a tooth’s nerve or pulp is damaged, bacteria can form in the root canal — causing infection identified by various symptoms, including sensitivity to hot and cold, toothache, bone loss around the root, swelling of your face or drainage into your gums. Damage to the nerve and pulp can come from decay, large fillings, cracks or chips in a tooth, and even trauma to your face.
Root Canal Therapy
A root canal can help to save a damaged tooth, and your smile.
Dentists at A+Dentistry perform root canal (or endodontic) procedures to save teeth that are badly decayed by removing the pulp and nerves and then sealing the cleaned canal. A tooth’s nerve function provides sensory responses to hot and cold temperatures. The removal of the nerve does not affect the primary functions of the tooth. Without treatment, infection and abscesses can form on the tissues surrounding your tooth. If you have an infected tooth it can be very painful and you should seek immediate medical attention from your A+Dentistry dentist.
Signs that a root canal is needed:
- Heightened and prolonged hot or cold sensitivity
- Severe tooth pain when chewing
- A darkened tooth
- Gum tissue that is swollen, sensitive, or pimpled
- Nerve damage or other side effects
The Root Canal Procedure
While root canal procedures have the reputation of being painful, our doctors guarantee no discomfort during the procedure! At A+Dentistry, your doctor will fully anesthetize the tooth and surrounding area, similar to when you receive a filling. Then the affected tooth and the infected pulp and nerve tissue will be cleaned and sealed. Depending on the health of the remaining tooth structure, it may be necessary to wait for any remaining infected tissue to heal before the tooth can be sealed. If the root canal cannot be filled on the day of the procedure, then a temporary filling will be placed in your mouth to protect the tooth from food, saliva, and bacteria.
Depending on the extent of damage or decay to your tooth, the tooth may be built up and prepared for a crown in order to prevent any future fractures. Our A+Dentistry dentists will discuss the need for any additional dental work with you.
After the Root Canal
In a small percentage of cases, a tooth may feel sensitive for the first few days after a root canal, especially if the tooth was infected. Typically, any discomfort resulting from the root canal can be controlled with ordinary over-the-counter medications. Also, rare complications from root canals can arise and are generally due to a re-infection or contamination to the tooth due to additional cracking or a breakdown of the inner sealant. It is important to maintain regular brushing and flossing of your teeth after you have received your root canal treatment.