A root canal is a restorative dentistry procedure that is used to save a tooth that is badly infected or decayed. During this procedure the nerve and pulp inside the tooth are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. The tooth’s nerve is not vital to the health and function of the tooth and can therefore be successfully removed. The only function of the nerve is to provide the sensation for hot and cold, it is purely sensory. The removal of the nerve will not affect the function of the tooth.
Why Do I Need A Root Canal? A deep cavity, traumatic injury, or tooth fracture can make a tooth susceptible to bacterial infection, which can kill the nerve, stimulate increased blood flow, and create pressure within the tooth. This can cause severe tooth pain and may initiate bone degeneration, tooth loss, and even more acute pain. If you see a dentist in the earliest stages of this condition, the tooth may be saved with a root canal. Otherwise, it may require extraction and a prosthetic replacement.
Root Canal Procedure
Will root canal therapy hurt? Not with today’s advanced technology. In fact, the entire process can be so comfortable that many patients doze off. Oftentimes, root canal therapy can be completed in a single appointment. We simply clean out the diseased canal, seal it from further infection, and you’re on your way. While some patients experience post-procedural soreness or slight tissue inflammation, these are controllable with over-the-counter medications. Follow-up care involves thorough home hygiene and regular dental visits for cleanings and dental checkups.
Symptoms a Root Canal May be Necessary
Although there may not always be obvious signs a root canal is needed, the following are some symptoms that may lead you to the dentist:
- Toothache pain upon chewing or application of pressure
- Prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold temperatures
- Discoloration of the tooth
- Swelling and tenderness in the neighboring gums
- A recurring pimple on the gums
If you are experiencing symptoms mentioned above, please contact our office so that we can examine your tooth and take the necessary actions before the condition worsens. If you have any other questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our St Louis dentist office today.