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Root Canal Treatment

Root canal procedures, treatments, symptoms and recovery

Learn about root canal procedures, treatments, symptoms and recovery before making an appointment.

About Root Canal Treatments

Nerve damage can be caused by array reasons from fillings that leak, decay in the teeth, bacteria in the body, or damage due to trauma. These causes do not necessarily lead to root canals, but if left untreated it may be one of your options.

A root canal is a treatment that is meant to remove the nerve structure from the inside of the tooth that has been damaged or has an infection. It is also referred to as ‘endodontics’.

The pulp and nerve tissue is found deep within the tooth. For this treatment, the internal areas that are within the tooth and have sustained damage are removed, and the space that is left is filled in with material that seals the tooth. Once this material has been put in, a crown is put in place over the tooth as a way of protecting the tooth from fracturing.

What can happen if left untreated?

Once the pulp has been infected, it becomes possible for the infection to spread and lead to an abscess. The area around the abscess becomes inflamed and painful. If this condition is left untreated, it can cause pain, loss of a tooth, or even infection to other areas of the body.

Symptoms that lead to Root Canal Treatment

When you have an infection in your teeth, it may be difficult for you to tell that something is wrong until quite some time has passed. The moment you experience the following symptoms, you should get in touch with your dentist. Some symptoms include:

  • Localized pain. This may start out as a mild throbbing and can then elevate to severe searing pain.
  • Inflammation or irritation around the infected tooth.
  • Discoloration of the tooth whereby it turns darker.
  • Tenderness of the teeth when you bite into food.
  • Any swelling or drainage in the area of pain.

Getting the Treatment Done

The procedure for a root canal can take 1 or multiple appointments. This is on a case-by-case basis and the complexity of the tooth that is in need of treatment. Your tooth is first numbed for comfort. The area of the nerve is accessed by a small hole in the tooth. The infected nerve tissue is then removed and cleaned out. Once everything is cleaned, a material is placed to seal the area where the nerve had previously been. For about 2 weeks a temporary filling is placed in the small hole that was made in the tooth to make sure that the root canal was successful before putting a permanent filling or crown on the tooth.