Understanding Root Canal Therapy

Root canal, or endodontic, treatment is an often straightforward procedure to relieve dental pain and save your teeth. Millions of teeth are treated and saved each year with root canal treatment.

Root canal treatment is necessary when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected due to:

  • Deep decay
  • Repeated dental procedures on the tooth
  • Faulty crown
  • Crack or chip in the tooth

In addition, an injury 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.

What are the signs of needing a root canal?

There are a few symptoms that mean you might need a root canal:

  • Severe pain while chewing or biting
  • Pimples on the gums
  • A chipped or cracked tooth
  • Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold, even after the sensation has been removed
  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Deep decay or darkening of the gums

Root Canal Procedure

During root canal treatment, your dentist will carefully remove the pulp inside the tooth, cleans, disinfects and shapes the root canals, and places a filling to seal the space.

What to expect after a root canal

Your tooth will have dull achy pain for 2-3 days. It will also hurt to chew on that side for 1-2 weeks. The tooth may require a crown as a final restoration to root canal therapy.

Pictures from www.aae.org

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