The inside of a tooth is mostly hollow. In a tooth’s hollow area are nerve tissue and some tiny blood vessels collectively called the “pulp” of the tooth. When a root canal is performed, the procedure removes all of the pulp and the hollow area is then filled and sealed from the tip of the root all the way up the tooth.
Despite a tooth having no living tissue internally, it still has a ligament with an external blood supply where it connects to the bone. It is this adhesion that prevents a root canal from just falling out. Teeth with root canals do dry out and become more brittle over time without the internal blood supply, which is why a dental crown is typically used to hold it all together.
Signs You May Need a Root Canal
Not everyone experiences the same symptoms leading up to a root canal. Sometimes there is no pain at all and an X-ray shows the infection causing bone damage at the tip of the root. The most common symptoms of pulpal nerve damage may include:
- Pain in the tooth when biting on it tapping on it.
- Throbbing pain that worsens when lying down at bedtime.
- Oversensitivity of the teeth with hot or cold drinks.
- Facial swelling.
- Swelling of the gums.
- Puss drainage from a fistula in the gums
- X-ray shows bone damage at the tip of the root.
Why Are Root Canals Needed?
Most of the time root canals are needed because decay caused by bacteria has advanced so far into the tooth that bacteria is able to cause an infection in the pulp of the tooth. Once the tooth is infected, the two basic choices are to extract the tooth or do a root canal. Treatment with antibiotics can temporarily help with the symptoms of pain and swelling but they will not correct the problem and the symptoms will return.
Trauma, both acute and chronic, is generally the other reason teeth end up needing root canals. Accidents like falling and hitting a tooth can damage the blood vessel entering the tip of the tooth and cause it to die. Sometimes repeated fillings and dental work to a tooth over time can irritate the pulp to a point where it cannot recover and irreversible pulpitis occurs that requires a root canal to alleviate the pain. Exposing a tooth to excessive biting forces over a period of time, usually from nighttime bruxism, can also irritate the tooth pulp to the point that it needs a root canal.
Why Dr. Booth is the best choice:
Experience counts! Doctor Booth Graduated with his DDS from University of Nebraska and has been a practicing dentist since 1995. As a professional in every sense of the word, he is absolutely committed to continuing education in order to stay abreast of the latest advances in diagnosis procedures, treatments and state-of-the-art technology.
In addition to his ongoing extensive research, reading, attending continuing education courses, seminars and the like he also maintains strong ties to dental professional organizations. He is absolutely committed to staying on the forefront of cosmetic and restorative dentistry, using advanced materials and new techniques.
Advantages of coming to Dr. Booth for your implant’s procedure:
- No referral needed to specialist
- Convenience, time efficiency and quality control of one doctor handling end to end procedure
- Unlike specialists, Dr. Booth can also restore the tooth as needed
- Overall Cost efficiency
If you think you may be in need of a root canal, contact us now or call 512.345.8800.