Understanding Root Canal Treatment
Years ago, people dreaded root canals and avoided them. Everyone has heard horror stories and bad jokes about root canals. Those days are gone! Today things are much different. The doctors at Alabama Family Dentistry complete root canals every day with predictable results, with little or no discomfort, and often in only one visit.
A root canal is a necessary treatment when a tooth becomes infected. If an infected tooth is left alone for a long period of time, an abscess can form. An abscess will show up on an x-ray as a dark spot below the apex of the root. This can actually cause bone loss in the jaw bone. This is a safe way to save a tooth instead of extracting it.
What Does Treatment Involve?
The first step of the procedure is to anesthetize the effected area. The next step is to open an access point through the biting surface of the tooth. The doctor will then determine a working length of each canal. Each canal is then cleaned and shaped in preparation for the filling material. Once each canal is prepared, it is filled with an inert material called gutta percha. The canals are then sealed. The tooth is now ready for a restoration, which is usually a crown.
Why Do I Need a Root Canal?
There are a number of reasons why one of your teeth may need a root canal treatment. These include a very deep cavity that extends into the nerve chamber, a trauma to the tooth that exposes the nerve, or a crack in the tooth that extends into the nerve of the tooth. Bacteria penetrate the area, cause an infection that will require treatment, an alternative to extraction.
Signs and Symptoms
- Moderate to severe lingering toothache pain when drinking hot or cold liquids or foods.
- Moderate to severe pain when biting on a tooth.
- Sensitivity to tapping or pressure on the tooth.
- Toothache that wakes you up in the middle of the night.
- A pimple on your gum that may release pus or blood.
- Radiating pain from one area of the mouth to another.