Questions And Answers About Root Canals

Dentist Blog

A root canal is an endodontic procedure used to remove the infected or inflamed living tissue from the interior of a tooth. The tissue, which is called the pulp, contains the dental nerves and the blood vessels. Once the pulp has been completely removed from the interior chambers of the tooth, the inside of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Then, the tooth is filled and capped with a dental crown. Here are a few questions and answers about root canals:

What are some of the symptoms that indicate a root canal is necessary?

A root canal is often needed for a tooth that is infected or a dental nerve that is inflamed. A patient with one of these conditions may present the following symptoms:

  • Unusual sensitivity to changes in temperature

  • Odorous liquid seeping from the gums

  • A small bump that resembles a pimple on the gums

  • A throbbing toothache that does not subside for long periods

  • Swelling of the jaw

  • Swelling of the gums around the affected tooth

  • Pain when biting or chewing

How many dental visits are required for a root canal?

The removal of the dental pulp along with the installation of the dental filling usually can be completed within one dental visit. However, a second dental visit may be needed, depending on the type of dental crown that is selected to cover the tooth.

If a resin or stainless steel crown is used, the permanent crown can be placed during the same visit during which the pulp removal takes place. However, if a porcelain or porcelain-over-metal crown is used, a second dental visit is often required. A porcelain or porcelain-over-metal crown usually requires a mold or impression of the patient's mouth so that it can be used as a guide for the technicians in the dental laboratory who will create the permanent crown. Once the permanent crown has been fabricated and sent to the dental office, it can be placed during the subsequent visit.

What are the benefits of a root canal?

A root canal not only stops the pain of the tooth, it prevents the need for an extraction. Once a tooth is extracted, the resulting gap can cause the  other teeth in your mouth to migrate and become misaligned. In addition, the missing tooth prevents the jawbone from receiving stimulation needed to maintain its density.

If you are experiencing dental discomfort, a root canal may be needed. Schedule a consultation with an endodontic in your area.


4 March 2016

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