Root canals are needed when a dental infection, or tooth decay, reaches the pulp chamber of the tooth. The infection destroys the nerves located within the root of the tooth, eventually causing the tooth to die. Years ago, the only option for this type of dental problem was a tooth extraction. Now, thanks to dental technology, we can save your tooth even if there's a major infection!
If you're in need of root canal therapy, you may be having trouble eating or sleeping. A toothache or sensitivity to hot or cold is common for those with infected pulp, and you may even have swelling or tenderness in the gums. While toothache remedies may relieve your pain, they won't fix your problem. Pain from infected root canals is often a signal that you need professional dental treatment to save the tooth.
To keep you comfortable, you'll receive a shot of local anesthesia. You may feel a slight sting as the anesthesia enters the tissue, but it should only last for a second or two. Once the area is numb, we drill through the tooth's crown and remove the pulp and nerves located within the root. The area is cleaned and the root canal is filled to keep the infection from returning. We then cap the tooth to further protect it. You may experience some sensitivity for a few days as the tooth heals.
If you have symptoms of an infection in your root canals, don't ignore them! The goal is to save your tooth rather than extract it, and with good reason. Missing teeth can cause bite problems, shifting teeth and jawbone loss. On the other hand, root canals are 95 percent effective, and a successful procedure can help you keep that tooth for a lifetime and prevent other dental problems.