What is a root canal?

A root canal is a dental procedure that saves one’s tooth by removing damaged nerve tissue in the tooth. Root canals are often dreaded and have many misconceptions and negativity associated with them, but they are a great way to relieve pain and inflammation coming from a damaged tooth.

Root canals are a relatively simple procedure involving one to three office visits. Best of all, having a root canal when necessary can save your tooth and your smile!

What is the purpose of root canal therapy?

When a tooth has a deep cavity or is cracked, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and cause an infection inside the tooth. If left untreated, an abscess may form. If the infected tissue is not removed, not only can pain and swelling occur, but it can be detrimental to your overall health. Without root canal therapy, your tooth may have to be removed.

 

The main goal of root canal therapy is to save your natural tooth, relieve pain coming from the tooth, and remove infection from the oral cavity.

Why would I need a root canal?

A patient can require a root canal for a variety of reasons. First, a patient may be in significant pain due to an infection or abscess around the root of a tooth. Oftentimes, if the area around a tooth is swollen or warm to the touch, this may indicate that a tooth is abscessed or infected and will need a root canal.

 

Another reason a tooth may need a root canal is when it hurts when a patient bites down. Over the years, teeth do a lot of chewing and tend to get fracture lines, crack lines, or craze lines. Sometimes, these can lead to pain in the tooth every time one bites down. In this situation, the tooth may require a root canal to relieve the pain.

 

In addition, a tooth may need a root canal even if it does not have symptoms at all. Sometimes, a tooth can experience trauma early in life or have a lot of dental procedures done, which can lead to the death of the tooth. In this case, we call the tooth “necrotic.” This will show up like an infection on a radiograph, but the tooth may not have any symptoms at all. It is still important to take care of the bad tooth with root canal therapy so that the body can be free of any infection.

What is the success rate of a root canal?

According to the American Association of Endodontists, root canals have a success rate of approximately 95%. However, it is very important that a root canal treated tooth receives the final restoration (i.e. the final “filling” or crown) very soon after treatment so that bad bacteria cannot affect the success of the root canal.

Why would I need a root canal?

A patient can require a root canal for a variety of reasons. First, a patient may be in significant pain due to an infection or abscess around the root of a tooth. Oftentimes, if the area around a tooth is swollen or warm to the touch, this may indicate that a tooth is abscessed or infected and will need a root canal.

 

Another reason a tooth may need a root canal is when it hurts when a patient bites down. Over the years, teeth do a lot of chewing and tend to get fracture lines, crack lines, or craze lines. Sometimes, these can lead to pain in the tooth every time one bites down. In this situation, the tooth may require a root canal to relieve the pain.

 

In addition, a tooth may need a root canal even if it does not have symptoms at all. Sometimes, a tooth can experience trauma early in life or have a lot of dental procedures done, which can lead to the death of the tooth. In this case, we call the tooth “necrotic.” This will show up like an infection on a radiograph, but the tooth may not have any symptoms at all. It is still important to take care of the bad tooth with root canal therapy so that the body can be free of any infection

Do I have to get a crown on the tooth after my root canal?

If a root canal is done on a premolar or a molar, which most people consider their “back teeth,” a crown is needed to ensure the best possible outcome. Most “back teeth” have two to three roots, and a root canal can cause these teeth to become a bit more brittle and more likely to fracture over years of use.

 

The success rate of a root canal treated premolar or molar is significantly higher with a crown than without a crown. The crown acts as a full coverage cap around the tooth to prevent any part of the tooth from fracturing off.

Contact Us

Please call our office to request an appointment.

Our Address

636 Main Street

Hudson, NC 28638 

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Our Hours

Monday - Thursday

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

 

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