Your root canal is the chamber in the center of each of your teeth. Within this chamber is a soft area that contains both dental pulp and the nerve of your tooth. This is, however, not what most people think of when they hear “root canal.”
Root canal therapy is a general dentistry procedure in which infected pulp and damaged nerve tissue are removed from a tooth. When infection impacts the pulp chamber, a root canal becomes necessary to prevent the need for tooth extraction.
Signs of an Infected Tooth
In some cases, an infected tooth will be discovered during your regularly scheduled dental hygiene and cleaning appointments before any symptoms are present. However, in between appointments, you should contact our office immediately if you experience:
- Increased tooth sensitivity to hot and cold
- Severe toothache
- Tooth discoloration
- Swollen and tender gums around a particular tooth
- A pimple on the gums
These are all possible indications of a tooth infection and must be dealt with promptly to avoid serious oral health complications. Sometimes, severe infection requiring root canal therapy won't cause any symptoms. For this reason, it's important to be examined by a dentist regularly to prevent infection and other problems.
The Root Canal Procedure
The root canal procedure has a bad reputation, but is actually no more uncomfortable than a common dental filling procedure. Root canal treatment is performed under local anesthetic, but, because the nerve of the tooth is dead, this step is often more for your comfort than out of necessity.
Once you have been made comfortable, Dr. Clancy will make a small access hole in the infected tooth through which dental tools can be inserted to gently remove decay, bacteria, and the pulp. Occasionally during this process we will use a medical solution to flush the pulp chamber as well.
Once the foundation of your tooth is cleaned, we will seal your tooth and fit you with a dental crown during this visit.
While every tooth is unique in its presentation, we work hard to minimize your time away from work and/or your family. We will complete this entire process in-office and cater the procedures to meet your particular needs.
For more information about options for saving a damaged or disease tooth, please contact Cosmetic & Esthetic Dentistry today by calling 781-396-8558 to schedule a comprehensive examination.