Frequently asked questions about Root Canal Treatment
What is Root Canal (Endodontic) Treatment?
Root canal treatment is a dental procedure carried out to save a tooth with an infected or damaged pulp. The pulp consists of nerve fibres and blood vessels and is located in the hollow space in the central part of the tooth. The procedure is also known as endodontic treatment.
How do I know if my tooth requires root canal treatment?
The most common symptoms of an injured or infected pulp include:
- Severe toothache or pain upon chewing or application of pressure
- Prolonged sensitivity or pain to hot or cold temperatures (after the heat or cold has been removed)
- Discoloration (darkening) of the tooth
- Swelling and tenderness in nearby gums
- A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please speak to a member of the Green Apple Team as they can also be a sign of other oral health issues. Remember that everyone’s symptoms are different, and some patients have no symptoms at all.
Why do I need root canal treatment?
If the tooth pulp becomes acutely inflamed or infected because of decay or injury, we need to remove that tissue in order to save the tooth and stop the infection from spreading. As an adult, you don't actually need the pulp — its primary use is to aid in tooth development during childhood.
Is there an alternative?
The only other alternative to root canal treatment is removing the whole tooth. In most cases however it is better to try to save the tooth especially since root canal treatment is routine and has a high success rate. Saving the tooth can prevent other troubles from occurring later on including bite problems from teeth shifting position, difficulty eating, and loss of jawbone volume and density
What will happen during the procedure?
After numbing the area, we will make a tiny hole in your tooth to access the pulp chamber and canals. After we remove the diseased tissue, we will disinfect the chamber and then fill it with a biocompatible material, and seal the hole with a permanent filling. Depending on how damaged the tooth was to begin with, it may need a full-coverage crown. We will discuss your options with you.
Is root canal treatment painful?
The procedure normally causes no more discomfort that a filling would. It is the infection in the pulp that causes the pain as the inflamed tissue has lots of nerves and therefore is very sensitive. Root canal treatment relieves this pain. Your tooth may feel sensitive for a few days after treatment, but any discomfort can usually be relieved with over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen.