Root Canals & Endodontics
Do you have specific teeth that hurt? You may have a cavity that has spread to your tooth’s nerve, causing an infection
“Endo” is Greek for inside while “odont” is Greek for tooth. Endodontists are dentists who specialize in saving your natural teeth. By looking inside the infected tooth, at the dental pulp and tissues that surround the roots of a tooth, they deal with the removal of infected nerves. However, root canal therapy and procedures range in degrees of difficulties and most general dentists still do the ones that are not overly complicated.
You’ll often need a root canal when you have an untreated cavity that spread the pulp of your tooth and causes infection in your nerves. If the infection is left untreated it can turn into an abscess (a more serious issue that can result in bone loss in the jaw).
Signs & Symptoms
- Inflammation and tenderness in the gums
- Teeth that are sensitive to hot and cold foods
- Tenderness when chewing and biting
- Tooth discoloration
- Unexplained pain in the nearby lymph nodes
Breaking down the stigma of root canals
There is the stigma that a root canal is a painful, agonizing procedure when in actuality, root canal therapy is given to relieve the pain the patient is suffering from.
The truth? In most cases, advances in dental technology, local anesthetics, and the right aftercare pain medication allow the surgery to be done with minimal pain.The benefits of the procedure will alleviate the pain caused by the infected tooth.
Like most routine dental procedures there may be some soreness after but ultimately once this pain subsides, you will feel relief from the infection and be able to enjoy your day-to-day life without of the pain you previously felt from the infection.
The pain associated with cracked or fractured teeth can be debilitating. While you eat, the crack in the tooth becomes wider, exposing the pulp and inner workings of the tooth causing irritation. As pressure is released, the two parts of the crack come together, relieving pain temporarily.
Symptoms of a cracked tooth include:
unexplained pain when eating
sensitivity to warm and cold foods
pain with no obvious cause
difficulty pinpointing the location of the pain
When the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection, root canal therapy is needed. It is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that would otherwise die. Although some people believe that removing a damaged tooth is the best solution, it will eventually lead to problems in the adjacent teeth.
This highly successful treatment lasts a lifetime, however, retreatment may be required if a new infection occurs. To save the tooth, your dentist will remove the living tissue inside of the tooth (the pulp), nerves, bacteria, and any decay then fill the space with medicated, dental materials to restore full function.
Signs and symptoms for a possible root canal:
an abscess (or pimple) on the gums
sensitivity to hot and cold
severe toothache pain
sometimes no symptoms are present
swelling and/or tenderness
Rarely does root canal therapy fail to work, but it does happen. Retreatment is almost identical to the original procedure, aside from the structural removal. If a tooth has good bone support and a solid set of healthy gums, there is a very good chance of saving the tooth.
Why is root canal retreatment sometimes necessary?
cracked crown leaking filling material
curved or narrow canals to treated during the original procedure
delay in the placement of restorative devices following the procedure
new decay to the tooth
new fracture in the treated tooth
saliva entering the restorative structure
undetected complex canal structure