Dental Health and Root Canals
In the past, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, you would probably lose that tooth. Today, with a special dental procedure called root canal treatment, your tooth can be saved. Root canals are a relatively simple procedure that usually takes just one office visit. Best of all, having a root canal when necessary can save your tooth and your smile!
What is the purpose of a root canal?
A tooth's nerve is not vitally important to a tooth's health and function after the tooth has emerged through the gums. Its only function is sensory – to provide the sensation of hot or cold. The presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the day-to-day functioning of the tooth.
When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. If left untreated, an abscess may form. If the infected tissue is not removed, pain and swelling can result. This can not only injure your jawbones, but it is detrimental to your overall health. Without the proper treatment, your tooth may have to be removed.
What are the signs that a root canal is needed?
Teeth that require root canal therapy are not always painful. However, signs you may need a root canal include severe toothache, pain upon chewing or application of pressure, prolonged sensitivity or pain in response to hot and cold temperatures, a dark discoloration of the tooth, and swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your dentist.
What happens during a root canal?
Root canal treatment involves one to three visits. During treatment, your dentist removes the affected tissue. Next, the interior of the tooth will be cleaned and sealed. Finally, the tooth is filled back up with a dental composite. Also, because teeth that have had a root canal become brittle, a crown is required to help the tooth last as long as possible. As long as you continue to care for your teeth and gums with regular brushing, flossing, and checkups, your restored tooth can last a lifetime.
At Brookfield Dental Care, we try to manage all our root canals in our office, for the convenience of our patients. It is more comfortable for you, and you will feel more at ease in a familiar environment with familiar faces, and it will be more affordable.