Endodontic treatment, otherwise called a root canal procedure, is a treatment of the tooth intended to remove decay and infection in addition to protecting the tooth from possible further infections.
If the tooth has a deep cavity, or is broken or cracked, the inside the tooth can be infected by germs and bacteria entering the pulp tissue. Left untreated, an abscess may form, resulting in swelling and severe pain. As the infection progresses over time, it can cause permanent damage to the underlying bone structure, increasing to excruciating pain. Without the necessary treatment, your tooth may need to be extracted.
Teeth requiring root canal treatment may not necessarily be painful. Nonetheless, indications that you may require endodontic treatment include:
- Intense tooth pain
- Pain when pressure is applied on the tooth such as when biting or chewing
- Extended sensitivity to cold or heat
- Dark discoloration of teeth
- Tenderness and/or sensitivity in the surrounding gum area
What occurs during a root canal procedure?
The root canal treatment may require from one to three visits, in which the infected tissue is removed by adental specialist called an endodontist. Once the tissue has been removed, the inside of the tooth will be completely cleaned of detritus and sealed to prevent further contamination. The final step involves the tooth being filled with a dental restorative material. In cases when your tooth suffered serious decay, your dental specialist may recommend placing a crown to fortify the tooth against fracture. In conjunction with proper dental hygiene including regular brushing, flossing, and visits to your dentist for check-ups, your restored tooth will likely last a lifetime.
In many cases, a damaged tooth can be salvaged by a root canal procedure. However, removing the tooth may be the best option if:
- Roots are seriously damaged
- An absence of sufficient bone structure for the tooth
- The tooth is damaged beyond restoration
- Inaccessibility of root canals rendering endodontic treatment ineffective
Endodontic treatment is intended to spare your tooth from being extracted. Missing teeth can cause insecurity, negatively affect your bite and capacity to chew, cause misalignment of adjacent teeth, and have a generally adverse effect on your overall wellbeing. Making the decision to get endodontic treatment is a conscious choice to keep your smile beautiful and healthy for a long time.
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