A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected.
Root canal procedures are performed when the nerve of the tooth becomes infected or the pulp becomes damaged. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed.
What Are the Signs That a Root Canal Is Needed?
Signs you may need a root canal include:
- Severe toothache pain upon chewing or application of pressure
- Prolonged sensitivity/pain to heat or cold temperatures (after the hot or cold has been removed)
- Discoloration (a darkening) of the tooth
- Swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums
- A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums
- Sometimes no symptoms are present
Alternatives to a Root Canal
Saving your natural teeth is the very best option, if possible. Your natural teeth allow you to eat a wide variety of foods necessary to maintain proper nutrition. The root canal procedure is the treatment of choice.
The only alternative to a root canal procedure is having the tooth extracted and replaced with a bridge, implant, or removable partial denture to restore chewing function and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. These alternatives not only are more expensive than a root canal procedure but require more treatment time and additional procedures to adjacent teeth and supporting tissues.
Since some of the reasons why the nerve of a tooth and its pulp become inflamed and infected are due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth and/or large fillings, following good oral hygiene practices (brushing twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and scheduling regular dental visits) may reduce the need for a root canal procedure. Trauma resulting from a sports-related injury can be reduced by wearing a mouth guard.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
We’re excited to partner with you for a lifetime of strong, healthy, beautiful smiles. Call 305-662-2599 to schedule your family’s checkups, your personal consultation, or a second-opinion visit with Dr. Ortega. We provide comprehensive cosmetic and neuromuscular dentistry, for patients from Miami, and all around the world in our inviting Coral Gables dental office.