Even with the contrary views from some dentists, the use of a root canal procedure has been widely favored by many members of the dental community and in fact endorsed by dental organizations. It has been claimed that the success rates of a root canal has been maintained at a high 90 to 95 percent. With the proper dental care and hygiene, a root canal may last as long as any other healthy tooth.

What is a Root Canal Procedure?

Root canal may be considered a dental treatment involving a procedure where a tooth’s infected or damaged pulp is replaced with a filling. The pulp is the soft area within the tooth and where the nerves may be found. The main objective in undergoing a root canal is to save the tooth that has decayed or infected.

What are the Indications of a Damaged Pulp?

There may be instances where damage to the pulp may not be manifested and may only be discovered upon special tests or x-rays. However, in most cases, damage to the pulp may be indicated by the following:
· Severe pain when chewing and biting or when exposed to hot or cold foods. Pain may also appear even when there are no aggravating factors.

  • Loosening of the tooth may occur.
  • Darkening or discoloration of the affected tooth.
  • Tenderness or swelling of the nearby gums.
  • Appearance of pus in the damaged tooth

When Does a Root Canal Become Necessary?

Addressing damage to the pulp is very important since aside from the severe pain, it may lead to infections and may result to a loss of the tooth. Overwhelming reasons why a root canal
procedure may have to be performed include the following:

Pain

A point may come that the affected tooth may become so sensitive that it may cause excruciating pain. In the initial stages, this may be triggered by contact with hot or cold foods. Later on, pain may appear even without any provocation and at any time of the day.

Abscess

Abscess may occur when the pulp of the tooth dies resulting to formation of pus around the roots. This may accumulate and may be infected with bacteria. Left untreated the abscess will continue to get worse and may infect the bone near the tooth. While antibiotics may control the spread of the inspection, root canal operation may be needed to completely remove bacteria and dead tissues.

Deep Cavity

There are cases in which tooth decay may reach to the pulp of the causing it to be infected. When this occurs it becomes inflamed and painful and may eventually become a decayed tissue. Short of extracting the tooth, the only alternative to the removal of the tooth decay and nerves that become affected is only through a root canal procedure.

Other instances that may require root canal procedures are trauma to the tooth, fracture of the tooth, repeated dental procedures, and even causes that may be attributed to the workmanship of the dentist. Whatever the reason may be, it should be remembered that this procedure can be complicated. The importance of having an experienced and competent dentist to do this procedure cannot be stressed enough.