A toothache that may be worsened by hot or cold which may keep you awake at night or may hurt even when you are not eating or drinking.
A tooth that hurts when you are chewing or biting.
A tooth that may not be sensitive to temperature, but that aches or throbs spontaneously.
Root canal therapy is a procedure that becomes necessary when an infection or inflammation develops in the pulp of the tooth. This infection or inflammation is often related to deep dental cavities, cracks or fractures in the tooth surface and history of or recent trauma to the tooth.
Each tooth has a varying number of canals that contain the pulp tissue. The pulp tissue consists of nerve cells, blood supply and connective tissue that when infected or inflamed can cause severe pain. Often times, the pain may subside, however, without treatment, the infection remains and may cause a dental abscess. A dental abscess is a potentially dangerous infection that may lead to complications in other parts of the body.
Root canal therapy allows you to save or a keep a tooth by removing the diseased pulp tissue and sealing the area to prevent reinfection. The procedure is effective in preventing loss of a tooth that otherwise may need to be removed or extracted. A natural tooth treated with a root canal helps to avoid the complications and problems that often occur when a tooth is removed. Including shifting or drifting of teeth, loss of bone and need for implant or bridge placement.
Root canal therapy usually involves 1 or 2 visits.
Initially, a small opening is made in the surface of the affected tooth to allow access to the pulp chamber and root canal spaces. Diseased tissue is removed and the inner chamber and canals are cleaned, shaped and disinfected. Finally, the canal and chamber are filled and sealed with an elastic material and medication in order to prevent reinfection. The small opening on the surface of the tooth is then filled temporarily until a permanent seal can be achieved with a crown.
Most patients experience very little pain during or after the procedure and the end result is a tooth free from infection that can last almost as long as the original tooth.