Root Canal Symptoms
Usually when you have tooth pain or gum swelling, you are going to need a root canal, but not always. Root Canal Therapy is needed when the innermost part of the tooth, also know as the pulp, gets diseased. When the pulp is diseased, it may or may not be painful. The pulp can become inflamed which is called pulpitis, or the pulp tissue can loose its circulation and die like gangrene, which is called necrosis. When the pulp gets inflamed it usually hurts, especially when the tooth is exposed to hot and cold temperatures like ice cream or coffee. It can also hurt spontaneously even waking you up at night. When the pulp becomes necrotic, the tooth may throb like a heart beat and the face may become swollen. These are acute symptoms of a necrotic tooth and happen because the tooth gets an infection. A tooth that has a necrotic pulp may have no symptoms at all. This happens because either the infection is growing so slowly that there is no pressure buildup causing pain, or it may happen because the infection is draining out of the bone through tooth abscess.
Root Canal Procedure Explained
Root canal therapy begins much like a filling. The patient may have nitrous oxide or laughing gas to relax them then the tooth is anesthetized. Once the tooth has no feeling in it, the pulp chamber is accessed through the chewing surface of the tooth. Once the pulp chamber is accessed, the pulp canals are located and measured with tiny files. The pulp canals are widened to remove the dead or inflamed tissue from the center of the tooth. Once the tissue is removed, the space is disinfected, dried, sealed and filled. The access opening is then filled with a filling material. The tooth should then be crowned to strengthen the tooth. When the pulp of the tooth is accessed, the tooth is hollowed in the middle and the tooth cannot withstand chewing forces predictably without reinforcement.