Root canal treatments are necessary when the internal pulp layer of a tooth becomes infected, often as a result of extensive tooth decay. Removing the infection using root canal therapy saves the tooth, prevents the spread of infection, and protects your mouth from additional serious complications.
Root canal procedures are performed under local anesthetic. In most cases, a crown is used to protect and strengthen the remaining tooth structure. However, if the tooth has severe damage, it may be necessary to build up the tooth with a post and core.
Root Canal FAQs
Q: How did my tooth become infected to the point I need a root canal?
A: Tooth decay or broken teeth are the two most common causes of infection. Both expose the tooth’s pulp area to bacteria that live in your saliva.
Q: Is a root canal really necessary?
A: Yes, it is. An infected tooth will only get worse over time and cause more problems, some of which can be life threatening. Puss from the infection can spread all the way to the root tip of the tooth and eventually pass into the jawbone. This can damage the bone that surrounds the tooth and cause excruciating pain.
Q: What are the symptoms of this type of infection?
A: Individual symptoms can vary, but typically infected teeth are sensitive to hot, cold or biting pressure. The area around the infected tooth may be swollen and/or painful, and you may have a bad taste in your mouth. Some patients have virtually no symptoms other than obvious tooth decay.