Root canals are used to save an infected or damaged tooth and avoid having to remove it. A root canal becomes necessary when a neglected cavity reaches all the way to the pulp at the center of the tooth and becomes infected, although trauma can also cause the nerve of a tooth to become deeply damaged. Regular cleanings and checkups detect and prevent problems early on.
Once the pulp becomes infected, sometimes even extending through the root tip, it begins to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is called an abscess). By the time the pulp is infected it must be treated, and cannot heal on its own. It can even weaken the entire immune system, becoming very dangerous and painful.
Symptoms of infected pulp may include:
A root canal is performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp and disinfect the canals of the tooth. The only other treatment would be to extract the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal is filled to prevent any further infection. Crowns are usually recommended to cover and restore a tooth after root canal therapy.
Keep in mind that there are sometimes no symptoms when a tooth becomes infected. This is why it’s so important to receive regular dental check-ups!
If you’re exhibiting any of the above symptoms, please call our dental office in Wichita, Kansas.
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