Root canal therapy is provided to teeth in which the nerve of the tooth has become infected or damaged and is no longer vital. Once the nerve is dead the nerve needs to be removed to avoid reoccurring infections which more than often happen. Root canal therapy consists of extracting the dead nerve from one or multiple canals in the tooth, and filling the tooth with restorative material. Root canal therapy may need to occur for a few different reasons, the most common reason is deep decay in which the decay has hit the nerve and damaged it.
The second most common is trauma to the nerve which can occur with fracture or too much force. The best way to determine if you need a root canal is to complete a dental examination with radiographs which are taken to determine health of the nerve which cannot be seen with the naked eye.
1. Pain: Pain will be present in a tooth with an infected or damaged nerve. Note the type of pain you are having before you call us: Sharp or dull
2. Sensitivity: Are you having sensitivity along with pain? If so what is the sensitivity caused by, hot or cold things?
3. Swelling: Swelling is often present in nerve infected teeth. Swelling has the tendency to increase quickly if not tended to and can become extremely serious. Any swelling is a matter of urgent care and needs to be assessed immediately.
4. Color: Tooth colour may change and become darker which can be a sign the nerve is no longer vital.