Root Canal Therapy

Root Canal Therapy

What is Root Canal Therapy?

A treatment frequently used by dentists to save or repair a tooth is root canal therapy. The procedure is performed by removing the pulp and cleaning the inside of the tooth. The pulp is made up of blood vessels and nerves. When these become infected or damaged the pulp has to be removed.

Why remove the pulp?

A tooth can start hurting because the pulp breaks down. When it breaks down, it can allow bacteria to gather and grow inside the pulp chamber. The bacteria along with the dying portion of the pulp can cause an infection, or an abscess. When a tooth is abscessed, a pus-pocket forms at the end of the root of the tooth. Other symptoms of an abscess or infected root canal include:

  • Swelling in the facial area
  • Bone loss at the tip of the tooth’s root
  • A hole can form in the tooth or in the gum and allow drainage to occur

How does the pulp become damaged?

The pulp of a tooth can become inflamed, infected or irritated when there is a deep decay, large fillings, cracks or chips in the tooth, trauma to the face or repeated dental procedures on the tooth.

How do you know you need a root canal?

There are certain signs that you are a candidate for root canal treatment. If you have severe pain while chewing, sensitivity to temperature changes, discoloration of a tooth, swelling or tenderness in the gum tissue around the tooth, or a recurring or persistent pimple on the gum tissue around the tooth you may need to see the dentist for root canal therapy. However, it is important to note that there are some people who experience no symptoms at all and need the procedure.