Root canal therapy is an important dental procedure that can help you keep a tooth that might otherwise have to be removed. The procedure cleans and sterilizes the cavity on the inside of the tooth that holds the pulp and nerve tissue. This cavity is referred to as the root canal.
Why Would I Need a Root Canal?
Root canal therapy is reserved for situations where the tooth has been severely damaged or has become seriously decayed or infected. This causes the interior of the tooth to be compromised and fill with infection. Without treatment, the infection could spread to other teeth, into the jawbone, into the sinuses or, in some cases, even into the brain. The tooth could be extracted, but in order to save it and make it functional again, your dentist might recommend root canal therapy.
Some reasons why a root canal might be necessary include:
- Severe decay that has spread into the tooth’s interior
- Trauma to the tooth, especially if it has broken off
- Cracking or additional decay in a tooth that has already been filled
- Infection in the tooth’s interior
Symptoms associated with these problems include extreme sensitivity, swelling, redness, and sometimes fever. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should consult your dentist.
Performing a Root Canal Procedure
Your dentist might perform your root canal, or you might need to see an endodontist, a dentist who specializes in root canal therapy. To perform the procedure, she will drill a hole in your tooth and use special tools called files to remove the pulp, which consists of nerve and connective tissue, from the tooth’s interior. All the pulp is removed to ensure no infection is left.
The tooth interior is then sterilized to eliminate any remaining infection, and the empty root canal is filled with a sterile resin to help the tooth maintain its strength and integrity. To further strengthen the restructured tooth, it is fitted with a dental crown. After this treatment, your tooth will be intact and usable but no longer sensitive and uncomfortable.
Call us at Newton Dental Group today to see how our caring team can provide personalized care and treatment for your next procedure.