Root canal therapy is designed to correct disorders of the dental pulp -- the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated, dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function.
Signs and symptoms for possible root canal therapy:
- An abscess (or pimple) on the gums
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Severe toothache pain
- Sometimes no symptoms are present
- Swelling and/or tenderness
Why is root canal therapy necessary?
Without treatment, the infection will spread to the bone around the tooth, making it not longer able to hold the tooth in place.
What does the root canal procedure involve?
Treatment begins with the removal of the tooth crown, or top, to allow access to the pulpal tissue. Once exposed, the affected area is removed. The area surrounding area is carefully cleaned, enlarged, and shaped to provide a clean, bondable surface for filling with a permanent filler to prohibit any further infection and discomfort. After filling, a crown is fabricated to complete the rescue and restoration of the natural tooth. The procedure is generally spread over several visits to assure the infected area and associated bacteria have been adequately drained.