Root Canal Treatments Save Teeth
Root canal or endodontic therapy is the removal of the infected pulp inside a tooth. This is done to get rid of pain permanently, prevent bacteria from spreading, and restore a tooth’s structure. Instead of extracting a decayed tooth, the dentist removes the dead pulp, cleans the root canals, and seals off the space with a rubbery material called gutta-percha. If most of the structure is gone after the root canal treatment, the dentist places a dental crown over the tooth to restore function and appearance.
Do You Need a Root Canal?
The center of each tooth houses soft tissue with nerves and blood vessels. When the infection reaches the pulp, it puts pressure on the nerve and causes excruciating pain. The only way to stop the pain is to remove the pulp and clean the area. You may need a root canal if you experience:
- Severe, throbbing pain when chewing or applying pressure to the tooth
- Dental abscess or pus around the tooth
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Swollen and tender gums
- Severe discoloration
- Bad breath
Sometimes there are no symptoms, but the dentist can detect the infection during a routine appointment.
X-rays or CT scans are used to confirm an infected pulp. The dentist will also tap the tooth with a dental instrument and check for sensitivity to hot and cold. The dentist then applies a local anesthetic to numb the area completely. This means that the procedure is virtually painless, contrary to popular myths. The dentist drills a hole in the tooth to remove the pulp and cleans the space and root canals. The cavity is then sealed off with special material. A dental crown may be placed on top if the damage is extensive.
If someone recommends pulling out a decayed tooth, see your Colorado dentist first. Visit Grand Dental today or call 970-243-8580 to make a root canal appointment.