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.
If you suspect you might need root canal therapy in St. Louis, please call (314) 375-5353 (Downtown St. Louis) or (314) 678-7876 (Clayton) today for an appointment with restorative dentist Dr. Chris Hill at City Smiles in downtown or Clayton.
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.
An infected tooth is not just a threat to your teeth, it’s also potentially a threat to your health and even your life. Some research has linked infected teeth to heart disease risk. Infection can also spread from your tooth throughout your body. It may progress to your sinuses and then your brain, or it may travel to your lungs, or lead to a fatal blood infection known as sepsis.
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
- Chronic bad breath or foul taste in the mouth
- Fever or localized hot spot on the tooth or gums
- Discoloration of the tooth
- Swelling and tenderness in the neighboring gums
- A recurring pimple on the gums
Many people think that if they don’t have pain, they can’t have an infected tooth. But sometimes a bacterial infection will kill the root with only transient pain. Also, much of the pain is caused by pressure buildup in the tooth from blood flow, inflammation, and bacteria. If the tooth has good drainage, the pressure may never get high enough to cause pain.
If you are experiencing symptoms mentioned above, even without serious pain, please contact our office so that we can examine your tooth and take the necessary actions before the condition worsens.
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.
If you have any other questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please call (314) 375-5353 (Downtown St. Louis) or (314) 678-7876 (Clayton) today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Chris Hill at our office in downtown St Louis or Clayton.