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If my tooth doesn’t hurt, why do I need root canal treatment?

root canal CarrolltonJust because your tooth does not hurt at this moment does not preclude the need for a root canal. In many cases, there are no obvious symptoms that indicate the need for a root canal. But you could have an infection brewing that could result in a serious toothache as well as an abscess that has the potential to make you sick.

What Is A Root Canal?

When the nerve of a tooth is damaged from trauma, infection, or deep decay, the patient has two options. The first is to have endodontic therapy (a root canal); the second is extraction. Whenever possible, your dentist will always advise that the tooth be saved.

When the need for a root canal is indicated, the process is actually very simple and straightforward. A dental x-ray is taken to identify the number of roots involved and their exact position. It is important that all roots be treated to prevent further infection or the need for retreatment.

The tooth is segregated using a rubber dam. This keeps the area dry.

The tooth is anesthetized. Even though the patient may have advised that they don’t feel pain, this is a necessary action taken for the comfort of the patient.

An access point is created in the tooth. Endodontic files are inserted into the tooth to remove the contents from the canals of each root. This includes pulp, blood, nerve, and infectious material, if present.

Throughout the procedure the doctor and assistant are using suction to remove these contents. Once all canals have been treated and flushed, this part of the procedure is completed.

The Final Step 

The access point must be sealed. Depending on the tooth treated, this can be done with a bonding material; in many cases, a dental crown is recommended to seal the tooth.

Before sealing the tooth, a material is used to pack the root canals called gutta percha. This material fills the now empty canals as the final step before the permanent seal is applied.

A tooth saved from extraction with a root canal can last a lifetime. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact our office today.