Table of Contents
- What is a root canal?
- Why is a root canal necessary?
- Why is a root canal necessary? (Part 2)
- Why is a root canal necessary? (Part 3)
- How is a root canal procedure performed?
- What happens during a root canal procedure? (Continued)
- Is there pain after getting a root canal?
- Are there special considerations for getting a root canal during pregnancy?
- What kind of problems or complications may occur after a root canal?
- What kind of problems or complications may occur after a root canal? (Continued)
- How long do root canals last?
- How much does a root canal cost?
- Are there any alternatives to a root canal?
- When should a tooth be extracted instead of getting a root canal?
Why is a root canal necessary? (Part 2)
Abscess (infection): If a tooth has become abscessed, it will require a root canal. An abscess is an infection that forms when the pulp of the tooth dies and a pus pocket forms around the end of the root. The pus accumulates in an area of dead nerve tissue that is infected with bacteria. Sometimes the abscess will form a bump that looks like a pimple on the outside of the gums. A patient may even notice pus draining from the pimple or notice a bad taste in his or her mouth.
An abscess that is left untreated will continue to grow and infect the bone around the root of the tooth. It may spread into surrounding bone and tissues. In rare cases, people have died from infections that started from a tooth abscess. Although antibiotics can help keep the infection from spreading, the only way to remove the infection completely is by performing root canal treatment and cleaning out all the dead tissue and bacteria inside the pulp chamber and root canals. There are other abscesses that can affect the teeth aside from endodontic abscesses. Periodontal abscesses can be painful, for example, and require different treatment than root canals.
Deep cavity: If tooth decay extends deep into the tooth and reaches the pulp, the pulp will become infected with bacteria. When this happens, it will either become inflamed and painful or it will die and become decayed tissue. Sometimes there will be no pain, but the only way the dentist can get all of the tooth decay out of the tooth is by performing a root canal and removing the nerve that has become affected as well.
American Dental Association Division of Communications. "Getting to the root of endodontic (root canal) treatment The goal: preserving the tooth." Journal of the American Dental Association 132.3 (2001): 45-54.
Watkins, C. A., et al. "Anticipated and experienced pain associated with endodontic therapy." Journal of the American Dental Association 133.1 (2002): 45-54.
6.Root Canal Illustration Molar" by Jeremy Kemp