Unhealthy nerves can lead to pain and discomfort. Historically, one may even lose a tooth if a nerve was diseased. This is no longer the case, as root canals allow for nerves to be removed while preserving the condition of the tooth. In fact, after the tooth has grown in normally, the nerve is no longer fundamentally necessary. Even if you have been experiencing discomfort for some time, your dentist may still be able to save your tooth.
The goal of a root canal is to remove damaged tissue that causes pain and can spread infection if left untreated. If a root canal is not performed, an abscess can form and cause further discomfort, eventually leading to an injury of the jaw. If your dentist recommends a root canal it is because the internal tooth has been infected and the tissue is no longer able to heal properly. Fortunately, the nerves are not essential for the overall functioning of the tooth and your dentist can conduct this procedure to preserve your smile and overall wellbeing.
A root canal may not always be necessary, but if you notice any pain when chewing or applying different pressure or temperatures a tooth it may be a solution. However, the tooth may not feel painful all the time. Other visual factors too look out for are tooth discoloration or a swollen gums. Causes of these problems may vary, but you should be sure to contact your doctor to find the appropriate solution.
If the dentist decides a root canal is the proper treatment for you, it may take anywhere from one to three appointments. The first phase will involve taking an X-ray to have an understanding of the infected area. Once this has been confirmed, the dentist will create an access hold and remove the damaged tissue. Then the empty space will need to be filled. In some cases this can be done at the same appointment but others may require some wait time to ensure the infection is no longer spreading. When it is time to fill the interior of the tooth, a rubber compound will be used to anchor and seal the tooth. Lastly, the access hole will be closed with porcelain or another compound that is used for a traditional filling.
Scientific advancements in X-ray equipment allow us to take images that are clearer, more quickly developed and provide less exposure to radiation than ever before.