One of the most feared words you can hear when you go to the dentist's office are "you need a root canal." You may not know exactly what a root canal is, but you may have heard that it is painful.
If you're concerned about needing a root canal, known in the dental world as endodontic therapy, please read the following commonly asked questions.
Why Do I Need Endodontic Treatment?
When the pulp, which is the soft tissue of the tooth, becomes inflamed or infected, it must be removed to preserve the tooth. If left untreated, it could turn into an abscess and may even result in a systemic infection.
What Causes the Inflammation or Infection?
There are many causes for a tooth infection, most of which involve damage to the integrity of the tooth, exposing the root canal where the tooth pulp resides. Some of the causes include:
- Extensive decay
- Cracked tooth
- Repeated repairs
How Can I Tell If I Have an Abscessed Tooth?
In most cases, an abscessed tooth presents itself as a toothache. Sometimes these toothaches are especially painful. Some signs and symptoms of an abscess include:
- Swelling of the gums
- Throbbing pain
- Sensitivity to heat or cold
- Open draining sore
If the pain suddenly decreases, it is possible that the abscess has merely ruptured, but the infection is still present. It is important to schedule a visit with Dr. Chee if these symptoms persist.
How Does a Root Canal Help?
A root canal is a type of endodontic surgery that removes the tooth pulp from the inside of the tooth. The infected tissue must be removed in order to prevent the loss of the whole tooth. Once the pulp is removed, the root canal is filled with a natural rubber called gutta-percha, to seal the tooth. The tooth is effectively dead, but will remain structurally sound and useful for many years.
How Long Does the Procedure Take?
It takes approximately one hour for the procedure, depending on your specific circumstances. We try to make it as comfortable as possible using The Wand anesthesia injection system. A second visit is required to fit the custom tooth crown we make to bond permanently to your tooth.
To find out more about endodontic treatment, please call 403-543-4600 to arrange a free consultation with Dr. Chee. Aesthetic Dental Studio welcomes patients in Calgary and throughout Alberta.