Root Canal Therapy
A Painless Method for Saving a Tooth!
When bacteria enter the most center part of the tooth (dental pulp or nerve chamber) caused by deep decay root canal therapy becomes necessary. Without root canal therapy the bacteria and decay can cause serious infection resulting in symptoms not only in the mouth but also the neck, cheeks or head.
Symptoms & Signs that you may need Root Canal (Endodontic) Therapy
- Spontaneous pain or throbbing, especially while lying down
- Decay extending to the nerve chamber of the tooth
- Pain while biting or chewing
- Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold foods or beverages
- Sharp piercing pain caused by inflammation of the nerve
- Discolouration of the tooth due to degeneration of the nerve
Inflammation and infection of the nerve chamber can be caused by:
- Deep decay
- A fracture or chip in the tooth
- Trauma or damage to the tooth
- Cracked or loose fillings
- Repeated fillings in a tooth
- Gum infection that extends to the root of the tooth
Under local anesthetic the tooth is isolated with a rubber dam (a protective sheet) to prevent bacteria from entering the rest of the mouth. A small opening is made in the tooth to remove any filling or decay and the unhealthy nerve. The canal is then cleaned, shaped and sterilized and filled with a firm, rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Finally a new filling is placed in the tooth. A crown is often recommended as the tooth becomes brittle over time since it no longer has a nerve or blood supply.
Does the root canal procedure hurt?
The pain associated with a root canal is due to the infection causing a build-up of pressure within the tooth. This pain can be controlled through the use of antibiotics prior to the root canal treatment. With current techniques and anesthetics the infection can be controlled by antibiotics and the procedure can be completely painless!