The words “root canal” may not sound pleasant, but the procedure doesn’t have to be a literal pain! Endodontic therapy is needed when the nerve inside the root of the tooth is dead or dying. This can be triggered by a variety of causes, but trauma to the tooth or an untreated cavity are some of the main culprits. Symptoms may include pain, facial swelling and tenderness upon biting on the tooth. A dying nerve is almost always accompanied by an active infection, so an antibiotic is needed.
The procedure for a root canal involves numbing the infected tooth, thoroughly cleaning the nerve canals and filling the area with a flexible plastic material. Once the infection is resolved, a more permanent material will be added inside the tooth.
Removing the dead nerve of the tooth will often lead to it becoming weak, so a crown is needed and recommended to provide strength to the tooth.
A common misconception about the procedure is that it’s painful. Cleaning out the infection actually relieves the pain, so when people leave our office after the start of a root canal, they feel better than when they walked in.