When your tooth is damaged or infected, the general dentists at Apple Dental Care may recommend a root canal procedure.
What is root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment, is the process of removing infected, damaged or dead pulp from your tooth.
The space inside the hard layers of each tooth is called the root canal system.
This system is filled with soft dental pulp made up of nerves and blood vessels that help your teeth grow and develop.
When bacteria enters your tooth through deep cavities or cracks, your tooth can become infected and abscessed.
When a tooth’s pulp is abscessed, a root canal procedure may be able to remove the infection.
Otherwise, if the infected tooth is left untreated it may need to be removed.
Is root canal treatment necessary?
Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, a blow to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.
Signs of pulp damage include pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, discoloration of the tooth, swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums. Sometimes, there are no symptoms.
What are the benefits of root canal treatment?
- Root canal treatments are intended to relieve severe pain and discomfort.
- Most importantly, root canal procedures are recommended in lieu of a tooth extraction. This means that instead of losing your tooth, you may be able to salvage it.
- A successful root canal treatment may save you money and time in the long run. Untreated pulp infections may lead to further complications, and the need for extraction.
What are signs that I need root canal treatment?
A simple toothache does not always indicate that root canal treatment is needed. At Apple Dental Care, we advise our patients to pay close attention to damaged teeth that are accompanied with the following symptoms:
- Severe Toothache
One of the biggest signs that your tooth is decaying is a severe recurring toothache. A toothache occurs because the nerves of the tooth are infected.
Have you noticed that your gums have swelled and are sensitive? This may indicate that your tooth is severely decayed and the gums are infected.
- Tooth Discolouration
When a tooth decays, the colour of the tooth changes to a yellowish shade. Tooth enamel (the outer part of your tooth) is what gives your tooth a white colour shade. However, when your tooth decays, it loses its white colour and the dentin layer inside the tooth, which is a yellowish colour, emerges.
The Root Canal Process
A root canal treatment requires at least two visits and may need a third appointment depending on your specific circumstances.
The first step is to assess your dental structure. Once the dentist decides that a root canal is required, the treatment begins.
Cleaning the Root Canal
The decayed part of the tooth, pulp and debris will be removed. A solution is used to wash the area clean.
After the tooth is cleaned, the hole in the tooth is sealed using a temporary filling.
During your second visit, a permanent seal is put in the tooth.