Root canal therapy—often just called a root canal—is the treatment that’s necessary for a tooth when its nerve has been affected by decay or infection. When preformed correctly, this procedure will save the tooth but remove the nerve that has been compromised.
A common misconception is that the removal of the tooth is a more permanent solution than a root canal. However, because the removal of a tooth has such a significant impact on the surround teeth, Dr. Walton strives to make it clear to his patients that tooth removal becomes a more costly and complicated solution over time.
Tooth damage that requires root canal therapy can happen in a number of ways, but the most common causes include:
- Excessive decay that has reached the tooth pulp
- Infection or abscess that has developed inside the tooth or at the root tip
- Injury or trauma to the tooth
So, how do you know you might need a root canal? Some of the signs and symptoms include:
- An abscess (or pimple) on the gums
- Unusual sensitivity to hot and cold
- Severe tooth pain
- Swelling and/or tenderness around a tooth