Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is needed when the soft tissue inside the root of a tooth, known as the pulp experiences inflammation or infection. Inflammation or infection can occur as a result of several things, including severe decay, repeated dental procedures, trauma, or the presence of a chip or crack. Often this injury occurs without any symptoms, however, if the tooth remains untreated, pain or sensitivity may occur and an abscess could develop.
You may experience the following symptoms prior to root canal therapy:
- Persistent throbbing, sensitivity to hot and/or cold
- Pain which may wake you in the middle of the night
- Pain which radiates to your upper or lower jaw, ear, or side of face
- Tooth discoloration
- Sensitivity to chewing and touch
- Infection, drainage and sensitivity in the lymph nodes, nearby bone and gum tissues
Sometimes, however, you may not experience any symptoms but still be in need of endodontic treatment
Under a microscope, your endodontist will remove the inflamed or infected pulp, and then thoroughly clean and carefully reshape the canal. Afterwards, the canal space is filled with either a temporary antimicrobial paste or a biocompatible permanent root filling. Your endodontist will place a temporary filling on the chewing surface in order to close the space between office visits and also after the root canal therapy is completed. You will need to see your general dentist after the root canal therapy is completed for a permanent restoration (filling or crown) of the tooth. This will seal and protect the remaining tooth structure and restore your tooth to its proper function.