Roots canal therapy is recommended when there is an infection deep within the tooth and is used to repair your tooth instead of removing it. Contrary to popular opinion root canals are usually not painful, in fact, most people report that the procedure is no more painful than having a filling done. What is usually painful, is the period before you come into our offices for treatment.
Inside your tooth is a soft tissue called the pulp, it contains nerves, blood vessels, and provides nourishment to your tooth. A tooth’s pulp can become infected if these problems occur:
- A deep cavity
- A cracked or fractured tooth
- An injury to the tooth, even if the damage is not visible like a crack or chip
- Repeated dental procedures
- Large fillings
The root canal procedure
After a local anesthesia is administered for a root canal procedure, our dentist will remove the nerve and pulp, and the interior of your tooth will be cleaned and sealed to prevent bacteria from entering. This should eliminate the tooth infection and the pain you are experiencing. Sometimes more than one office visit is needed to complete the treatment depending on the complexity of the therapy and the condition of the tooth. If the root canal is not finished on the same day, a temporary filling is placed in the exterior hole in the tooth to keep contaminants out between appointments. The final step of a root canal therapy is usually the application of a restoration like a crown or a filling.
After the completion of your therapy, you may experience some sensitivity to the tooth which is usually due to tissue inflammation, especially if there was pain or infection before the treatment. Most patients can return to their normal activities the next day.
Root canal therapy is a highly successful and tremendously beneficial option that allows for most teeth to be saved, and with proper care, your restored tooth could last a lifetime. Occasionally, a tooth may need to be retreated because of a new infection.
Root canal treatment can prevent the problems that are experienced when a tooth is removed and not replaced. Teeth around the missing tooth may shift out of alignment. This can make biting and chewing difficult and may make it more difficult to clean your teeth. It is always preferable for you to keep your natural teeth as long as possible.
What are the signs that root canal therapy might be needed?
- Toothache pain when chewing or applying pressure. The tooth may also start to hurt spontaneously, even when you are not using the affected tooth.
- Long lasting and extreme sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, even after the hot or cold stimulus is removed from the tooth.
- If the tooth discolors or grows darker
- Nearby gums appear swollen and are tender
- An ongoing pimple on the gums or signs of a possible abscess
If you are having any of these symptoms or need to have your teeth checked, please call Cambridge Dentistry for an appointment. We have locations on Dundas and Franklin Plaza or Westgate Plaza.