A root canal treatment is a procedure that involves one of our dentists removing bad bacteria from the pulp of a tooth. That bacteria may build up inside of the tooth for many reasons. Poor dental health habits is one of the most common causes. Additionally, when someone does not the appropriate measures to fix a cracked tooth, it is easier for bad bacteria to enter and attack the tooth from the inside out. An infection that goes untreated inside of a tooth makes it painful, discolored and could even lead to the loss of that tooth.
Usually, root canals are recommended or needed when there is an infection deep within the tooth. The pulp inside the tooth can become infected with bacteria because of an injury or because of a severe, untreated cavity. Without treatment, the infection can become severe enough that the tooth has to be removed.
A root canal treatment is performed when decay and infection cause damage to the nerve and pulp of a tooth. Recent trauma, deep decay, or a damaged filling can cause infection in your tooth. In some cases, the dentist may discover additional narrow or curved canals that may not be able to be treated during the initial procedure.
The most common symptoms that indicate a need for root canal treatment are:
- Consistent pain or throbbing in the tooth area
- Pain caused by chewing or as a reaction to contact with hot and cold temperatures
- Swollen or tender gums
- The appearance of a pimple on the gums
During a root canal, our dentists gently remove your tooth’s affected tissue and nerves, and carefully cleans and seals the tooth to protect it. Depending on the severity of the infection and the type of restoration — typically a filling or a crown — the procedure may require more than one visit.
Taking good care of your teeth and gums is a must after a root canal. You may need to schedule additional visits with our dentists to X-ray the treated tooth and to make sure that all symptoms and signs of your infection are gone, in addition to your regular dental cleanings and exams. It is very important to keep up a good oral care routine at home as well, including brushing at least two times a day with a toothpaste that fights germs for 12 hours. By taking care of yourself and giving your teeth the attention they deserve, a tooth treated with a root canal can stay healthy for the rest of your life.
Contact our office about root canal therapy in Charlotte to learn if you might require this procedure. The sooner you complete your root canal therapy, the faster you can be on the road to a happy and healthy smile.