Dental Tips Blog


When is a Root Canal Needed?

Posted in Root Canals

Root canals play a vital role in preserving the health of your teeth, especially when it comes to teeth that have been seriously injured, infected, or decayed. Rather than losing the tooth, root canals stop whatever future damage can occur, and save the tooth from further problems so that it can stay in place for years.

Root canals are used to treat abscesses and prevent them from returning.

An abscess means that a bacterial infection has spread through the root of the tooth and tried to drain through the side of the gums. Abscesses may be painful or asymptomatic. Most of the time they are diagnosed clinically, but they are also visible on x-rays. 

Root canals preserve brittle teeth that are no longer vital.

Trauma from an accident or injury can cause a tooth to die…even years after the accident occurred. This makes the tooth weak, darken, and begin to become brittle or break apart.  

Root canals are needed on teeth when decay is extensive.

 If a cavity is allowed to progress into the nerve chamber of the tooth, infection can spread into other areas of the mouth. Placing a filling over the nerve will only predispose the tooth to abscessing.

During a root canal, the infected or damaged nerve tissue is removed from inside of the tooth. The nerve chamber is then cleaned and sealed off with a filling material before a crown is placed over the tooth. Although root canals can be longer procedures than other treatments, they are no more uncomfortable than your average dental procedure. Your dentist will anesthetize the area that is being treated, and provide you with a prop to bite on  to minimize jaw discomfort.

Posted on behalf of David Kurtzman


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