Root Canal Therapy
Root canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is necessary when an infection reaches the pulp or infects the nerve of the tooth. Sometimes deep restorations or trauma to a tooth may cause the nerve to die.
Once this occurs the pulp becomes infected, and can even extend through the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is an abscess). A root infection can even weaken the entire immune system. This can be painful and potentially dangerous.
Symptoms of the nerve dying may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain to biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. A root canal is then performed to clean out the infected nerve.
The nerve’s primary function is sensation (hot or cold) and losing the nerve will not diminish the effectiveness of the tooth.
Once the infection is resolved a crown is recommended to protect the tooth.
Do I Need a Root Canal?
Signs you may need a root canal include:
• Severe toothache or tooth pain when you eat.
• Prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
• Discoloration or darkening of the tooth
• Swelling and tenderness in nearby gums