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- Infected or sick tooth due to decay or injury
- Chronic tooth pain from contact with hot and cold liquids
- Pain from pressure or biting down
- Danger of infection spreading
A root canal is the removal of the nerve from your tooth. Inside each tooth is a pulp chamber that contains the nerves and blood supply for the tooth. When a tooth is affected by decay, infection or injury, the pulp tissue (nerves) must be removed. Once the pulp is removed, the remaining chamber is filled with a rubber-based dental material known as gutta-percha to seal it off.
All teeth that have had root canal therapy must be protected with a tooth-like artificial covering known as a crown. This is because teeth that have had the pulp removed can become brittle which makes them more susceptible to fracture and further damage. After the placement of a crown, the tooth has been restored to its full function.
Signs & Symptoms:
- An abscess (or pimple) on the gum
- Sensitivity to hot or cold
- Sensitivity to pressure or tapping on the tooth
- Severe toothache pain
- Swelling and/or tenderness
- Throbbing when you lay down
- Pain that wakes you up at night
- Sometimes no symptoms are present
Root Canal therapy removes the source of your pain; it also allows you to keep your tooth that would otherwise need to be removed.
Root canal therapy costs a little more in the short term than a simple extraction. But in the long term, saving the tooth will help prevent a number of other problems from occurring.
The only alternative to root canal therapy is to remove the natural tooth and replace with an implant, bridge or a partial denture. Leaving the space is never a good option because it leads to an unhealthy bite.