According to the American Association of Endodontists, root canal therapy is the most feared dental procedure of all. That’s not surprising; in our society, root canals have been characterized as being excruciating and unbearable. Despite this stigma, root canal therapy relieves your pain and can prevent more complicated oral issues down the road.
What is a Root Canal?
A “root canal” is a term used to describe the natural cavity in the center of a tooth. This area contains a soft area known as the pulp chamber that houses the nerves. If this area becomes irritated or infected due to cavities, trauma or decay, root canal therapy is necessary. If left untreated, the infection can cause an abscess, which can lead to swelling of the face and neck and bone loss around the roots of teeth.
Symptoms of a Root Canal Problem
- Severe tooth pain and sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- Tooth becomes discolored
- Swollen, tender gums
- A reoccurring pimple that forms on the gums
Root Canal Therapy Procedure
In years past, root canal treatments would take multiple long visits. Now, the procedure can be completed in a single visit in less than an hour. In the treatment:
- The area around the target tooth is numbed, isolated and sterilized from bacteria
- The infected tissue is removed, and replaced by a rubber filling material
- The tooth is then built back up and prepared for a crown