Root canal therapy is a form of endodontic treatment that is recommended when the pulp of a tooth becomes infected or inflamed. Teeth can become inflamed or infected for a wide range of reasons, such as deep decay, a chip or crack in a tooth, or repeated dental procedures. In some instances, an injury to a tooth can cause soft tissue damage that leads to inflammation and the need for root canal treatment. Root canal therapy is a common procedure that can save a tooth and prevent the need for an extraction.
There are several signs that could indicate the need for root canal therapy. Some of the most common complaints from patients in need of endodontic treatment includes pain, tenderness to touch or when chewing, sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures, discoloration of the tooth, tenderness of the lymph nodes, and swelling or drainage in the mouth. In some instances, patients experience no symptoms but may still need a root canal.
The root canal therapy process begins with our Matthews dentist numbing your tooth. This will prevent you from feeling any pain during the treatment. Next, an opening is made through the crown of the tooth and into the pulp chamber. We will use a special file to clean the pulp and remove any infected tissues from the canals. The canals are then shaped and cleaned out using irrigation tools.
Once shaped and cleaned, the canals are filled with a permanent material known as gutta-percha. This material prevents the canals from becoming infected again. We will then apply a filling material over the gutta-percha to create a seal over the opening to the canals. This temporary filling will remain in place until a permanent filling or crown is received.
While your teeth are meant to last a lifetime, they can succumb to decay, injury, or other types of damage over time. When a tooth becomes inflamed or infected, root canal therapy may be the only viable solution.
There are a number of reasons why one of your teeth may need a root canal. These include but are not limited to, a very deep cavity that extends into the nerve, a trauma to the tooth that exposes the nerve, or a crack in the tooth that extends into the nerve of the tooth.