If you notice that one of your teeth is darker than the others, you having throbbing pain, or a pus-filled sac has formed on your gum line, it is likely that you have an infection. We encourage you to contact Pure Dental and Implant Center right away for an evaluation. You probably will need a root canal, although our dentists can’t say for sure without examining you.
Despite the inaccurate reputation it has gotten over the years, getting a root canal is often necessary to save your tooth. It is much less uncomfortable that living with an untreated infection in the pulp of one of your teeth. Dr. Kuipers makes sure that you are as comfortable as possible during the procedure.
Understanding the Anatomy of a Tooth
Each one of your teeth has a chamber inside of it that contains its nerves. This is where you can find the pulp of your teeth as well. The pulp has a canal that goes from the inside of your tooth to its root, which explains the origin of the term root canal. The canal in each tooth transports nutrients and blood to its root while eliminating toxins at the same time.
The problem arises when the canal of a tooth becomes damaged due to trauma, infection, disease, a fracture, or a deep cavity. When that happens, you experience significant pressure and pain in the tooth. If you don’t seek treatment, the pulp within the tooth dies and you may eventually experience the loss of gum and bone or even the entire tooth.
What Happens During a Root Canal
Before starting your root canal, Dr. Kuipers places a dental dam inside of your mouth to make sure it stays clean and free of saliva during the procedure. Your dentist than drills a small hole in your tooth’s crown to access the infected pulp and remove it. The next step is to clean the entire inside of your tooth and then place a crown over the treated tooth for added protection. The crown is temporary and prevents your tooth from becoming re-infected.
In addition to pain and possible tooth loss, not having infected pulp removed can cause an abscessed tooth. This causes a loss of muscle in your jaw bone and is extremely painful to experience. Untreated infections can also spread to other teeth and cause decay. At that point, you may need dental work performed on two or more teeth instead of just one. It is much better to have your dentist identify the cause of your symptoms and perform a root canal if one is needed as soon as possible.