A root canal therapy is a restorative dental procedure that involves the removal of the injured or infected pulp (the soft, inner part of the tooth), disinfecting and filling the area with medication, and placing a dental crown over the tooth for protection.
Despite its notoriety for being a seemingly onerous and painful procedure, root canal therapy actually involves minimal discomfort and comes with remarkable benefits. Among these are that it can help protect your tooth from further decay, restore its function, eliminate the need for a tooth extraction, and allow you to eat efficiently again.
If you’re wondering when you might need a root canal therapy, check out the following symptoms. If you happen to have any of them, it may be time to see your dentist to get the procedure done.
Severe, Nagging Tooth Pain
Severe, nagging tooth pain—accompanied by foul-smelling breath, swollen lymph nodes under your jaw or neck, swelling on the area itself, and fever—indicates the presence of a tooth abscess, which forms when pus leaks from a bacterial infection. An abscess can develop in the gums around your affected tooth, but it can also reach adjacent teeth and bone.
A tooth abscess does not resolve on its own. It may rupture, but this doesn’t mean that you no longer have to seek treatment for it. If the abscess doesn’t drain, the infection may reach your jaw, head, and neck. When left untreated, tooth abscess can progress to sepsis, a potentially life-threatening medical emergency. A root canal therapy eliminates the infection, prevents serious complications, and saves your tooth from extraction.
Lingering Tooth Sensitivity
Damage to your enamel (the protective layer of your tooth) causes your tooth roots to get exposed, thus the extreme tooth pain and sensitivity. If conservative treatments like desensitizing toothpaste and fluoride treatments are no longer effective, your dentist may recommend a root canal procedure. The treatment is considered one of the most successful techniques for eliminating tooth sensitivity and improving oral health.
A Crack or Break in Your Tooth
Although your teeth are strong and durable, they are not invulnerable to trauma. Dental trauma, which often occurs due to car collisions or sports injuries, causes broken or chipped tooth and consequently increased susceptibility to infection.
Bacteria can slip through even a minute opening in the tooth. In some cases, a tooth may not be visibly cracked but can still become infected.
Root Canal Therapy in Eugene, Oregon
At 360 Dental, Dr. Ari Binder prides himself on his expertise and extensive experience in carrying out highly successful root canal therapies and other restorative dental procedures, helping thousands of our patients preserve their teeth and maintain their natural smile.