When the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or an infection, a root canal procedure is necessary. In order to ensure tooth survival, the living tissue inside the tooth known as the pulp will have to be removed along with the nerves, bacteria, and overall decay. The empty space is then filled with medicated dental materials, specially designed to restore the tooth to full functionality.
Having a root canal performed is the best treatment for saving an infected tooth that would otherwise wither away and die on its own. Many patients believe that removing a tooth is the only way to fix a problem. Not only is this untrue, but removing a tooth can end up being more expensive than other procedures because the infection might spread to adjacent teeth. Root canals are very successful and in most cases, last a lifetime. If there are any new infections that form, the tooth can easily retreat.
Symptoms that might require a Root Canal:
- Swelling or tenderness
- Heat and cold sensitivity
- Severe toothache (worse with pressure)
- Presence of an abscess (round bump) on the gums