Dental Update

Why do I need a root canal to save my tooth?

A really infected, dead or painful tooth may need root canal treatment to save it!

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Dental Clinic Croydon South – Emergencies and Urgent Appointments available

A root canal is a dental procedure that becomes necessary when the pulp inside a tooth becomes infected or damaged. The pulp is the soft tissue that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue, and it plays a crucial role in the development and nourishment of the tooth. When the pulp becomes infected or injured, it can lead to severe pain, sensitivity, and other dental complications. A root canal is performed to remove the infected or damaged pulp and save the tooth from further decay or extraction.

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There are several reasons why a root canal may be necessary for your tooth:

Infection: When tooth decay reaches the inner layers of the tooth, it can infect the pulp. Bacteria can enter through cavities, cracks, or dental injuries. The infected pulp can cause swelling, pain, and abscess formation. A root canal is required to remove the infected tissue and prevent the spread of the infection.

Deep decay: If tooth decay extends deep into the tooth, reaching the pulp, a root canal is often necessary. This decay weakens the tooth structure, causing pain and sensitivity. Removing the decayed tissue and restoring the tooth with a root canal can help alleviate the discomfort and save the tooth.

Trauma: Accidents or injuries to the tooth can cause damage to the pulp. A severe blow to the mouth or a sports injury can result in fractures or dislodgment of the tooth, exposing the pulp to infection. A root canal may be required to address the damage and preserve the tooth.

Fracture or cracks: Teeth with cracks or fractures can allow bacteria to penetrate the pulp, leading to infection. Root canal treatment may be necessary to remove the infected tissue and repair the tooth structure. If left untreated, the crack or fracture can worsen and potentially result in tooth loss.

Deep dental procedures: Extensive dental procedures such as multiple fillings, crowns, or repeated repairs on a tooth can weaken the pulp and make it susceptible to infection. In such cases, a root canal may be recommended to address any existing infection or prevent future complications.

Tooth abscess: An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms at the root of the tooth when the infection spreads beyond the pulp. Abscesses can be painful and cause swelling in the surrounding tissues. A root canal is often necessary to drain the abscess, remove the infected pulp, and save the tooth.

It’s essential to undergo a root canal when recommended by your dentist because the infection or damage will not resolve on its own. Without treatment, the infection can spread to the surrounding tissues and even enter the bloodstream, leading to more severe health issues. Additionally, extracting a tooth without replacing it can result in problems with chewing, speech, and the alignment of the remaining teeth.

During a root canal procedure, the dentist will remove the infected pulp, clean the root canals, and seal them to prevent further infection. Afterward, a crown or filling is usually placed on the tooth to restore its strength and functionality. With proper care, a tooth that has undergone a root canal can last a lifetime.

In summary, a root canal is necessary to treat an infected or damaged tooth pulp. It helps alleviate pain, prevent the spread of infection, and save the tooth from extraction. If you are experiencing tooth pain, sensitivity, or other symptoms, it is crucial to consult with a dentist who can evaluate your condition and determine if a root canal is necessary for your tooth.

Sometimes extracting a tooth is actually the correct choice!

If your tooth is too badly infected, painful or weak, extraction may actually be the best choice. We can help you make that decision once we’ve fully assessed your individual situation.

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