What you need to know about getting a root canal
Did you know that the most painful part of a root canal is not having one at all? That’s right, thanks to modern dental techniques the pain of an infected tooth is far greater than the treatment.
So if your Lethbridge dentist tells you that you need one, know that your pain is about to end.
What is a root canal?In the centre of every tooth is a thin channel filled with a soft substance comprising pulp and nerves. The channel is called the root canal. The pulp is important to the development of a new tooth, but when the tooth is fully grown, it can survive without the pulp.
Root canal therapy is necessary if the nerve or the pulp becomes infected. The dentist removes the infected tissue, cleans the inside of the tooth and fills, seals and restores the tooth to prevent future problems. Afterwards, your dentist will place a permanent crown on top so you can continue to eat and speak as you always have. The crown will protect the tooth from chipping or cracking down the road.
How does a tooth become infected?Most infections are caused by untreated tooth decay or cracked teeth. When left untreated, a cavity or crack can become so deep that it reaches the centre of the tooth. When this happens, bacteria can get into the pulp and nerves of the tooth and cause an infection.
What are some signs I need a root canal?
A tooth infection that needs a root canal can be extremely painful. Some symptoms include:
- Persistent pain that radiates to other parts of your head
- Increased sensitivity to hot or cold
- Swelling in the face, jaw or lymph nodes
- A pimple-like bump on the gum near the affected tooth
- The infected tooth becomes darker than your other teeth
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your dentist as quickly as possible for treatment. If it isn’t treated, a tooth infection will only get worse, leading to more pain, the loss of the tooth and the possibility of the infection spreading to your bloodstream and other parts of your body.