Why might I need a root canal?
The soft innards of your tooth that contains tissue and nerves is called the pulp. When your tooth is damaged deep enough, it could expose or even damage the sensitive pulp, which is a severe dental injury that can lead to much worse complications.
Root canal therapy (also referred to as endodontics) can save a tooth that has developed a severe infection on the inside. Without a root canal, the tooth would die and you would need to have it extracted. Missing teeth can lead to complex dental issues that can be difficult, time consuming and costly to repair. So it always preferable to save the tooth with a root canal if at all possible.
A root canal can preserve your tooth and alleviate symptoms such as:
Severe Toothache Pain
If the tooth pulp is infected, it will often feel painful. You may notice sharp pain whenever you apply pressure to the tooth, such as during chewing. There also might be sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures.
Bump on the Gums
Also known as a dental cyst, this small, pimple-like bump forms on the gums near a tooth that may need a root canal. Dental cysts develop around the roots of an infected or decayed tooth. They may also form if the tooth’s pulp is infected.
Darkening of the Tooth
Infected pulp may cause a tooth to darken in colour due to internal damage. If you notice one of your teeth is a darker shade than the others, there may be an issue with the inner pulp.
What happens during a root canal procedure?
With modern dental technology and techniques, root canal therapy has become a relatively simple and minimally invasive procedure when compared with a tooth extraction or other procedures.
The area will be numbed with anesthesia before your dentist uses a specialized tool to create an opening in the tooth. The bacteria, diseased blood vessels or dead tissue will then be removed from the interior of the tooth. The inner chamber of the tooth will be shaped and irrigated with water, rinsing away any diseased tissue that remains.
Your dentist may also apply an antimicrobial solution to eliminate any remaining bacteria and decrease your risk of further infection.
If you are curious about others' experience during their root canals, you might type "root canal reviews" into your favourite search engine and read up on the topic. Most teeth that have had root canal treatment can last a lifetime, and help you maintain confidence in your smile.