Endodontic treatment, also known as a root canal treatment, is a treatment of the tooth aimed at clearing infection as well as protecting the tooth from subsequent infections.
When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. If left untreated, an abscess may form. If the infected tissue is not removed, pain and swelling can result. This can not only injure your jawbones, but is detrimental to your overall health as well. Without the proper treatment, your tooth may have to be removed.
Teeth that require endodontic treatment are not always painful. However, signs you may need a root canal include:
- Severe toothache
- Pain upon chewing or application of pressure
- Prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold
- Dark discoloration of the tooth
- Swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums
Most teeth can be saved by endodontic treatment but tooth extraction may be necessary if:
- Roots are severely fractured
- The tooth does not have adequate bone support
- The tooth cannot be restored
- Root canals are inaccessible