A26D69VHQ3GT A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form, causing further damage and extensive pain.
“Root canal” is the term used to describe the natural cavity within the center of the tooth. The pulp or pulp chamber is the soft area within the root canal. The tooth’s nerve lies within the root canal.
A tooth’s nerve is not vitally important to a tooth’s health and function after the tooth has emerged through the gums. Its only function is sensory — to provide the sensation of hot or cold. The presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the day-to-day functioning of the tooth.
What Damages a Tooth’s Nerve and Pulp?
A tooth’s nerve and pulp can become irritated, inflamed, and infected due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth, and/or large fillings, a crack or chip in the tooth, or trauma to the face.
How do You Know if You Need a Root Canal?
Sometimes, symptoms are not apparent. However, signs you may need a root canal include:
- Severe tooth pain upon chewing or application of pressure
- Prolonged sensitivity/pain to heat or cold temperatures
- Discoloration (a darkening) of the tooth
- Swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums
- A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums
What Happens During a Root Canal?
A root canal requires one or more office visits and can be performed by a dentist or endodontist, which is a dentist who specializes in the causes, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and injuries of the human dental pulp or the nerve of the tooth. The choice of which type of dentist to use depends on the difficulty of the root canal procedure needed in your particular tooth and the general dentist’s comfort level in working on your tooth.